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Ricin letters: Shannon Richardson 'wanted her face out there'

By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   June 13, 2013 at 4:20 PM   |   Comments

June 13 (UPI) -- If Shannon Richardson had her way, she probably would have preferred to get famous for her work in television.

Instead, if she becomes a household name, it will be because she was arrested in connection with mailing three letters laced with poison to President Barack Obama, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

Federal authorities said they arrested Richardson, an actress with minor roles on "The Walking Dead" and "The Vampire Diaries," after she called the FBI claiming her husband had sent the letters. Investigators found she had sent the letters herself, and she was charged last week with mailing a threatening communication to the president.

If convicted, she could serve up to 10 years in prison.

Now her estranged husband, Army veteran Nathanial Richardson, is speaking out -- and he doesn't have a lot of sympathy.

"She really wanted to be an actress -- she wanted to get her face out there," Nathaniel Richardson said. "She has done this to herself."

"She has destroyed my reputation and my life but there's a way up from this and if I sit here and focus on anger, I can't focus on getting on with my life," he said.

Each of the three letters were mailed from Shreveport, La., on May 20, and sent without a return address. They contained ricin, a toxin made from castor beans that has no antidote and can kill in 36 hours.

"You will have to kill me and my family before you get my guns," said the letter to Bloomberg. "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."

Shannon Richardson is a pregnant mother of five and had been married to Nathaniel Richardson for less than two years.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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