Pregnant Texas actress charged over Obama ricin letter threat

Shannon Guess Richardson could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted

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The Independent US

A pregnant actress who told FBI agents her husband had sent ricin-tainted letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was charged Friday with threatening the president.

Shannon Guess Richardson made an initial court appearance after being charged with mailing a threatening communication to the President.

The 35-year-old was arrested earlier in the day for allegedly mailing the ricin-laced letters last month.

She could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted but has blamed her husband, Nathaniel Richardson, the office of the US Attorney has said. 

John Delk, who represents Nathaniel Richardson, told the AP on Thursday that his client had filed for divorce and may have been set up by his wife. He said his client was cooperating with authorities investigating the letters, which were sent last month to Bloomberg, his Washington gun-control group and the White House threatening violence against gun-control advocates. 

Ricin, if inhaled can cause respiratory failure, among other symptoms and is deadly if swallowed. No antidote is available. 

FBI agents wearing hazardous material suits were seen going in and out of Richardson's house on Wednesday in nearby New Boston, northeast of Dallas near the Arkansas and Oklahoma borders.

Mayor Bloomberg issued a statement Friday thanking local and federal law enforcement agencies "for their outstanding work in apprehending a suspect," saying they worked collaboratively from the outset "and will continue to do so as the investigation continues." 

Richardson's internet resume includes small television roles in "The Vampire Diaries" and "The Walking Dead." She had a minor role in the movie "The Blind Side" and appeared in an Avis commercial, according to the resume. 

She has five children ranging in age from 4 to 19 from other relationships, four of whom had been living with the couple in the New Boston home. 

The FBI is investigating at least three cases over the past two months in which ricin was posted to Obama and other public figures.