Home World U.S. News Ricin letters: Shannon Richardson sentenced to 18 years in jail

Ricin letters: Shannon Richardson sentenced to 18 years in jail

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Actress Shannon Richardson, who posted ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has been given an 18-year prison term.

Shannon Richardson, 36, from Texas, had accused her estranged husband Nathaniel of sending the three poisoned letters in an apparent attempt to frame him.

“I never intended for anybody to be hurt,” the actress told the court.

Shannon Richardson pleaded guilty in December to the charge of possessing and producing a biological toxin.

Shannon Richardson posted ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Shannon Richardson posted ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg

A federal judge gave her the maximum sentence under that plea deal and ordered her to pay restitution of about $367,000.

Shannon Richardson, a mother of six, has played small roles in The Vampire Diaries and The Walking Dead, according to IMDB.

Prosecutors say that after ordering the ingredients online, Shannon Richardson made the ricin and then posted three letters before going to police and claiming her estranged husband was to blame.

According to a federal indictment, one letter to Barack Obama read, exactly as she wrote it: “What’s in this letter is nothing compared to what ive got in store for you mr president.”

Another letter received by Michael Bloomberg, a gun control advocate, contained a threat to “shoot in the face” anyone who came for the sender’s guns.


A third ricin-laced letter was opened by Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a gun control advocacy group founded by Michael Bloomberg.

In asking the judge for leniency on Wednesday, Shannon Richardson apologized and said: “I’m not a bad person. I don’t have it in me to hurt anyone.”

Shannon Richardson asked for “mercy and compassion” and said she’d already been punished by being parted from her six children.