Sentence Handed Down for Actress Who Sent President Obama Ricin-Laced Letters

July 17, 2014  •  Post A Comment

The Texas actress who mailed ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been sentenced to 18 years in prison, CNN reports.

Shannon Guess Richardson, 36, was also ordered to pay $367,000 in restitution in a trial that U.S. Attorney John Bales called “one of our most unusual, even bizarre cases.” Richardson appeared in small roles on TV shows, including “The Walking Dead” and “The Vampire Diaries.”

Richardson entered into a plea deal that allowed her to serve no more than 18 years, even though the charge of possession of a toxin for use as a weapon carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, the story notes.

“Three envelopes containing the natural, highly toxic compound derived from castor beans were mailed from Shreveport, Louisiana, in May 2013, after records showed Richardson made online purchases of castor beans and lye, another component of ricin,” the story notes.

The letters, which were discovered before they caused any injuries or deaths, also contained this message: "You will have to kill me and my family before you get my guns. The right to bear arms is my constitutional God-given right. What's in this letter is nothing compared to what I've got planned for you."

Richardson first told FBI agents that her now-estranged husband had sent them, the piece adds. Her husband denied any wrongdoing, and told investigators that his wife had wanted to end their marriage, according to court papers.

shannon guess richardson.jpgShannon Guess Richardson

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