A New Boston, Texas, woman pleaded guilty in a Texarkana federal court Tuesday to developing and producing a biological agent for use as a weapon.

Shannon Guess Richardson, 36, appeared with Tyler, Texas, attorney Tonda Curry for a change of plea hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Caroline Craven in Texarkana’s downtown federal building.

Richardson pleaded guilty to an information charging her with developing and producing a biological agent, ricin, for use as a weapon. 

While the offense is punishable by up to life in prison, Curry and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frank Coan and Ryan Locker told Curry an agreement exists for Richardson to serve 18 years in federal prison followed by five years of supervision by federal probation officials.

Richardson was pregnant with her sixth child when she was arrested in June. She concocted the poison in a New Boston, Texas, residence she shared with her husband and her four children from a prior relationship.

Richardson sent the threatening, toxic letters to Obama, New York Mayor Michael Bloomburg and Michael Glaze, the head of a gun control advocacy group, in May.

Read Wednesday’s edition of the Texarkana Gazette for the full story.


Published: 12/10/2013