Shannon Richardson sentenced in ricin letter case - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Shannon Richardson sentenced in ricin letter case

Shannon Richardson is seen here walking into federal court Wednesday morning for her sentencing. Shannon Richardson is seen here walking into federal court Wednesday morning for her sentencing.
Shannon Richardson, 36 (Source: Titus Co. Sheriff's Office) Shannon Richardson, 36 (Source: Titus Co. Sheriff's Office)
TEXARKANA, TX (KSLA) -

Shannon Guess Richardson has been sentenced to 18 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $367,222.29 in restitution for sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the leader of Mayors Against Ilegal Guns back in May of 2013.

Prosecutors say Richardson mailed three letters from New Boston, outside Texarkana, then went to police and claimed that her husband did it.

The 36-year-old New Boston, TX woman pleaded guilty in December to possessing and producing a biological toxin. Her attorney said that under the plea deal her prison time would be capped at 18 years. In federal court in Texarkana, Texas on Wednesday morning, U.S. District Judge Michael H. Scheider formally handed down the sentence of 216 months.

Looking emotional and frail in court, Richardson apologized to all involved, including Obama and Bloomberg. But there was no apology for her ex-husband, who she maintains was involved. Instead, Richardson stood in court and said that she has taken responsibility for her role, but that Nathan Richardson still has not.

The formerly aspiring actress and mother of 5 will remain in custody in Bowie County. It has not yet been determined which federal facility she will be sent to serve out her sentence.

In a statement released by the U.S. District Attorney's Office following the sentencing, U.S. Attorney John Bales said, “Today's sentencing brings an appropriate and just end to what is surely one of our most unusual, even bizarre cases.”

“The investigation was also very challenging," Bales continued, "and I hope that East Texans are encouraged to know that their East Texas law enforcement proved to be amazingly resourceful, determined and focused in all facets of this prosecution. It was truly a great job.”

Copyright 2014 KSLA. All rights reserved.

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