Shannon Guess Richardson charged with sending ricin letters to Obama cuts plea deal
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- Shannon Guess Richardson, 35, is expected to change her plea to guilty
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By James Nye
PUBLISHED: 10:20 EST, 24 November 2013 | UPDATED: 10:22 EST, 24 November 2013
Plea deal: Shannon Richardson is placed into a Titus County Sheriff's car after an initial appearance at the federal building Texarkana, Texas in June - it has been reported that she is about to do a plea-deal with authorities
The Texas woman accused of sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors, it was reported on Saturday.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Coan added into the case docket for Shannon Guess Richardson a one-line entry that states 'notice of plea agreement,' the Texarkana Gazette claimed.
Authorities say the New Boston, Texas, actress mailed ricin-laced letters to Obama, Bloomberg and a leader of the mayor's gun-control group. Court documents state the then-pregnant Richardson tried to frame her husband, Nathaniel Richardson, for the crime.
The terms of the deal have not yet been made public, and a December 2 pretrial hearing has been canceled.
However, it is possible that the terms of the agreement will be discussed at another hearing, the newspaper reported.
Typically, as part of a plea deal, a hearing is held so a defendant can change their plea to guilty.
Richardson's court-appointed attorney, Tonda Curry, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Richardson was pregnant when she allegedly manufactured ricin and mailed it to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg
Richardson, 35, has been charged with two counts of threat by mail and one of threatening the president. She remains jailed after giving birth in July.
Richardson has been in federal custody since June 7. Later that month, a federal grand jury handed down a three-count indictment.
Authorities allege that Richardson created a ricin-type concoction using castor beans, bulk lye and syringes she ordered over the Internet.
Three letters she mailed, one to Obama, one to Bloomberg and a third to Michael Glaze, head of the gun-control group, tested positive for ricin, according to an FBI criminal complaint.
If convicted, Richardson could face up to five years in federal prison for each offense and a fine of up to $250,000.
Her husband is divorcing the 35-year-old, who remains in federal custody.
She gave birth on July 4 to a premature son - and custody of that child went to Nathaniel.
Richardson allegedly tried to blame the poisoned letters on her husband Nathaniel Richardson, who the FBI believes is innocent
The FBI raided Richardson's home in June after she called federal authorities to report her husband
An affidavit says Shannon Richardson tried to implicate her husband in the ricin letters before her June 7 arrest. He has not been charged.
Shannon Richardson has been accused of sending tainted letters to Obama, Bloomberg and to a leader of the mayor's gun-control group.
Texarkana, Texas, attorney John Delk told the Texarkana Gazette that the baby weighed less than two pounds when it was born.
Richardson was pregnant with her son when she allegedly manufactured the deadly poison in May and mailed letters with anti-gun control rhetoric to Obama, Bloomberg, and the gun control lobbying group that Bloomberg founded.
Federal authorities say she tried to frame her husband, a U.S. Army veteran who is the father of her unborn child.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and President Obama were targeted by the ricin attacks
Richardson, an aspiring actress, already has five children from previous relationships, age 4 to 19.
Shannon Richardson called the FBI in June and told agents her husband was responsible for the threats.
The poison-laced letters said: 'You will have to kill me and my family before you get my guns.'
And, 'Anyone who wants to come to my house will get shot in the face. The right to bear arms is my constitutional, God-given right and I will exercise that right till the day I die.
'What’s in this letter is nothing compared to what I’ve got planned for you.'
Richardson is an aspiring actress who has had minor roles on television shows such as The Walking Dead and the Vampire Diaries.
Her husband Mr Richardson has said she was desperate to become famous.