nasty divorce. But making ricin and trying to frame your estranged husband for trying to kill the president. Um... Um...WHAT?We have all heard horror stories of a woman scorned and a nasty,
Check out this article in the Wichita Eagle.
A federal judge Thursday ordered a psychological exam for the Texas
woman accused of sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama
and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in an attempt to frame her
estranged husband. Shannon Richardson's court-appointed attorney,
Tonda Curry, requested the exam, saying Richardson, 35, had displayed "a
pattern of behavior" that raised the question about whether she could
assist in her defense. Curry's wrote in a motion that her belief was
based on a series of conversations with Richardson, who has been jailed
since her June 7 arrest on a charge of sending a threatening
communication to the president.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Caroline
Craven's ruling means Richardson, who is six months pregnant, will be
evaluated at a medical facility within the federal Bureau of Prisons,
possibly within the next 30 days, to determine whether she can assist in
her defense. "She has never been inside a jail before, and that's
a very, very harrowing experience, especially when you're older and
pregnant," Curry said, elaborating on Richardson's mental state after a
brief hearing Thursday. "She is suffering a lot of anxiety and panic
attacks." Curry filed the motion requesting the exam Thursday
morning, just hours before a scheduled detention hearing. The detention
issue was postponed until after Richardson's mental competency is
Richardson, wearing an orange jump suit and with her hands shackled, did not speak during Thursday's hearing. Richardson,
an actress, has had minor roles on television and films under the name
Shannon Guess. The government alleges she sent the ricin letters to the
White House, Bloomberg and the mayor's gun-control group last month in
an attempt to pin the crime on Nathan Richardson, the New Boston, Texas,
man she married in October 2011.
Nathan Richardson filed for divorce on the day before his wife's arrest. He later told the Texarkana
Gazette that he contemplated divorce last year but reconsidered when
the relationship seemed to improve. The marriage was at least
Shannon Richardson's third, and she has five children ranging in age
from 4 to 19 from other relationships, according to Nathan Richardson's
attorney, John Delk.
Authorities have determined that the ricin
letters, which threatened violence against gun-control advocates, were
mailed from New Boston, about 150 miles northeast of Dallas, or nearby
Texarkana and postmarked in Shreveport, La.
According to an FBI
affidavit, Shannon Richardson first contacted authorities to implicate her husband in the scheme. But she failed a polygraph exam, and
investigators found numerous inconsistencies in her story, the document
alleges. Richardson later admitted mailing the letters but maintained that her husband made her do it, according to the affidavit. Speaking
to reporters Thursday, Curry noted that her client has not been charged
with sending a poisonous substance. If the government does file that
charge against her, it will be strongly denied, Curry said.
"We are going to mount a vigorous defense on the ricin," Curry said.
lead attorney for the government, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Locker,
declined comment, saying he doesn't discuss ongoing cases.
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