An actress and former beauty queen who sent ricin-laced(Ricin is a highly toxic, naturally occurring lectin produced in the seeds of the castor oil plant Ricinus communis. A dose of purified ricin powder the size of a few grains of table salt can kill an adult human) letters to president Obama and the New York city mayor has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Shannon Richardson was arrested in june 2013 after she posted letters to the president, the then major, Micheal Bloomberg as well as a gun control advocate. The 36-year-old Texan who was the in The Vampire Dairies and The Blind side pleaded guilty to possessing and producing a biological toxin and received the maximum sentence yesterday. she was also ordered to pay a fee of $367,000.
“i never intended for anybody to be hurt. I’m not a bad person. i don’t have it in me to hurt anyone”. she told the court.
Richardson who gave birth while in custody had attempted to frame her estranged husband in the crime after obtaining a paypal account and post office box in his name.
A signed plea document gives detailed of how she had ordered castor beans from the internet, learnt how to turn them into ricin and then waited for her husband, Nathan Richardson to leave for work on may 20 2013. she printed labels for each of the recipients, the third of which was Mark Glaze, director of mayors against illegal guns.
The letter to Obama read: “What’s in this letter is nothing compared to what I’ve got in store for you, Mr President. you will have to kill me and my family before you get my guns. Anyone wants to come to my house will get shot in the face”
Before sentencing, Richardson appealed to the judge for ‘mercy and compassion’ saying that she had already been ‘punished dearly’ by being separated from her six children. “The sentiments expressed in those letter were not mine”, She added.
She reportedly thought that security measures at each victims house would have prevented them from opening the letters. Her husband has since filed for divorce.