Shannon Guess Richardson

The U.S. attorney’s office said  that the Texas actress who admitted sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and then-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Shannon Guess Richardson, who is 36 years old, was also told to pay $367,000.

John Bales, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Texas, said in a statement, “Sentencing brings an appropriate and just end to what is surely one of our most unusual, even bizarre cases.”

Prosecutors said that the actress pleaded guilty in December to having a poison that could be used as a weapon.

Even though the charge carried a maximum sentence of life in prison, prosecutors said at the time that Richardson had made a deal to not serve more than 18 years in prison.

In May 2013, three envelopes were sent from Shreveport, Louisiana, with the natural, highly toxic compound made from castor beans. Richardson had bought castor beans and lye, which is another part of ricin, online.

Richardson lived about 90 miles north of Shreveport in New Boston, Texas.

An FBI arrest affidavit said that Richardson also sent a poison letter to Mark Glaze, who was then the director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns at the time. Bloomberg started this group. The office of the group is in Washington, D.C.

The letters had what the FBI called “very low concentrations” of ricin, but they were found before they could hurt or kill anyone. They also said, “If you want my guns, you’ll have to kill me and my family first.” My constitutional right to own guns comes from God. What’s in this letter is nothing compared to what I have planned for you.”

Richardson, who had small parts in TV shows like “The Walking Dead” and “The Vampire Diaries,” told FBI agents at first that her now-ex-husband had sent the poisoned letters.

But the authorities said that Richardson was “lying” in a polygraph test.

An FBI arrest affidavit says that investigators found the text of threatening letters to Obama on her computer storage devices. According to the couple’s computer records, her husband couldn’t have printed the letters because he was at work at the time.

The affidavit said Richardson eventually told investigators that she had sent the letters, but she said that her husband had typed them and forced her to print and send them.

According to court papers, Nathaniel Richardson denied doing anything wrong and told investigators that his wife was “deliberately misleading” them and that she wanted to end their marriage.

In June 2013, he asked for a divorce, and court records showed that Shannon Richardson was pregnant.

Shannon Richardson gave birth to a boy, Brody, in July 2013, four months before her due date.

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