A plot to frame an estranged husband has backfired badly for one Texas woman, who was sentenced to 18 years behind bars for sending ricin letters.
Shannon Richardson on Wednesday received the maximum prison sentence under a plea deal she accepted in December where she admitted to mailing ricin-tainted letters to President Obama, then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and to the head of a gun control group. The mother of six unsuccessfully tried to make the mailings appear to have been sent from her soon-to-be ex-husband.
Richardson, a onetime extra on shows such as "The Walking Dead" was also ordered by a federal judge to pay $367,000 in fines, the Associated Press reports. The 36-year-old woman said she believed that biosecurity protocols would have kept anyone from actually being exposed to the ricin, which has no antidote and is lethal in trace quantities.
"I never intended for anybody to be hurt," Richardson told the court, subsequently saying, "I'm not a bad person; I don't have it in me to hurt anyone."
This article was published in Global Security Newswire, which is produced independently by National Journal Group under contract with the Nuclear Threat Initiative. NTI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group working to reduce global threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.