DALLAS (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Texas woman and former actress pleaded guilty Tuesday to sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and Mayor Mike Bloomberg, under a deal that her attorney has said would cap prison time at 18 years.
Shannon Guess Richardson pleaded guilty in federal court in Texarkana, Texas, to a federal charge of possessing and producing a biological toxin.
Her attorney, Tonda Curry, said last month that Richardson was ready to admit her role in sending toxic letters to Obama, Bloomberg and the head of Bloomberg’s pro-gun control group.
A federal judge ultimately will sentence Richardson at a later sentencing hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.
Prosecutors say that before her arrest in June, Richardson tried to frame her now-estranged husband for mailing the letters containing ricin.
The letter to Obama, according to a federal indictment, said: “What’s in this letter is nothing compared to what ive got in store for you mr president.”
A FBI affidavit filed in the case says Richardson first contacted authorities to implicate Nathan Richardson in the scheme, but she later failed a polygraph exam and made inconsistent statements to authorities.
Richardson later admitted she mailed the letters, but maintained that her husband made her do it, according to the affidavit.
Ricin is a poison found naturally in castor beans, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Symptoms include difficulty breathing, vomiting and redness on the skin depending on how the affected person comes into contact with the poison.
Richardson has had minor roles in the television series “The Walking Dead” and the movie “The Blind Side.”
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