Woman in ricin case found competent for trial

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 28, 2013 at 1:59 pm •  Published: August 28, 2013
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TEXARKANA, Texas (AP) — A northeast Texas woman accused of sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is competent to stand trial, a federal judge said Wednesday.

During a brief hearing in Texarkana, Shannon Guess Richardson also pleaded not guilty to two counts of mailing a threatening communication and one count of making a threat against the president of the United States.

Richardson, an actress from New Boston, Texas, is accused of sending the threatening letters in May to Obama, Bloomberg and a third man who heads Bloomberg's gun-control group in an attempt to frame her now-estranged husband.

She was arrested on June 7. About two weeks later, U.S. Magistrate Judge Caroline Craven ordered her to undergo a psychological exam at the request of Richardson's lawyer, Tonda Curry.

Curry had said Richardson displayed behavior that raised questions about whether she could help in her own defense. But on Wednesday, Curry told Craven she wouldn't contest the finding that Richardson is competent for trial.

Richardson appeared in court in an olive-green jail jumpsuit and didn't speak during the hearing, except to talk with Curry.

Authorities have determined that the letters were mailed from New Boston — about 150 miles northeast of Dallas — or Texarkana and postmarked in Shreveport, La.

"What's in this letter is nothing compared to what ive got in store for you mr president," the letter to Obama says, according to Richardson's federal indictment.

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