Mental evaluation ordered for New Boston ricin suspect - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Mental evaluation ordered for New Boston ricin suspect

Shannon Richardson, 35 (Source: Titus Co. Sheriff's Office) Shannon Richardson, 35 (Source: Titus Co. Sheriff's Office)
Federal agents, some in hazmat suits, spent 3 days searching the Richardson's New Boston, TX home. Federal agents, some in hazmat suits, spent 3 days searching the Richardson's New Boston, TX home.
Both Nathan and Shannon Richardson were questioned by the FBI, but Nathan was never taken into custody and no charges have been filed against him. Both Nathan and Shannon Richardson were questioned by the FBI, but Nathan was never taken into custody and no charges have been filed against him.
TEXARKANA, TX (KSLA) -

A U.S. District Court judge has ordered a mental evaluation for the New Boston woman accused of mailing ricin-tainted letters to the president and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Shannon Richardson, 35, is charged with mailing a threatening communication to the President of the United States.

In U.S. District Court in Texarkana Thursday, Richardson's court appointed attorney Tonda Curry waived her client's right to a hearing on whether she should continue to be held without bond and requested the mental evaluation.

"She absolutely, absolutely firmly denies producing, making, ordering any ricin," Curry says.

U.S. District Judge Caroline Craven granted the request. The mental evaluation is expected to take place within the next 30 days.

Richardson, who is pregnant, remains in federal custody at the Titus County Jail in Mt. Pleasant.

Richardson initially blamed her estranged husband, Nathan Richardson, for sending the letters that contained low levels of ricin and were postmarked from Shreveport. She was arrested June 7, a week after federal investigators say she told them she suspected he was behind the letters. That tip led to an FBI raid on the couple's New Boston home, where investigators say they found traces of ricin and the tools and ingredients needed to make the poisonous substance.

In a statement to E! News, the aspiring actress denied any connection to the letters. "I really can't say much at all but the accusation couldn't be further from the truth." The statement went on to say, "I would not put my unborn child or other children in danger just to 'frame' someone. He simply needed someone to blame for what he has done and I was the obvious person for him to blame. Most of what is being reported in this case is absolutely inaccurate. That's all I can say. Thank you for asking for my side of this instead of running with the inaccuracies many others are publishing."

While Nathan Richardson was questioned by the FBI, he was never taken into custody and no charges have been filed against him. KSLA News 12 caught up with him outside the courthouse shortly after the hearing, but only his attorney, John Delk, would talk.

"The biggest concern is trying to get the FBI to see that he had nothing to do with what was going on," Delk says, adding that he expects that the FBI eventually will come to that conclusion.

Those letters threatened violence against gun control advocates. Court observers had hoped to hear from FBI investigators before the detention hearing was waved by Richardson's attorney.

Copyright 2013 KSLA. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Actress arrested in sex trafficking in 'guru to stars' case

    Actress arrested in sex trafficking in 'guru to stars' case

    Friday, April 20 2018 4:13 PM EDT2018-04-20 20:13:13 GMT
    Friday, April 20 2018 9:34 PM EDT2018-04-21 01:34:45 GMT
    (Photo by Todd Williamson/Invision/AP, File). FILE - This June 26, 2012, file photo shows television actress Allison Mack at a party in Los Angeles. Federal prosecutors say television actress Allison Mack, from "Smallville" has been charged with sex tr...(Photo by Todd Williamson/Invision/AP, File). FILE - This June 26, 2012, file photo shows television actress Allison Mack at a party in Los Angeles. Federal prosecutors say television actress Allison Mack, from "Smallville" has been charged with sex tr...
    Federal prosecutors say a television actress best known for playing a young Superman's close friend has been charged with sex trafficking for helping recruit women to be slaves of a man who sold himself as a...More >>
    Federal prosecutors say a television actress best known for playing a young Superman's close friend has been charged with sex trafficking for helping recruit women to be slaves of a man who sold himself as a self-improvement guru.More >>
  • American ISIS wife endured horror, now wants to come home

    American ISIS wife endured horror, now wants to come home

    Thursday, April 19 2018 7:26 PM EDT2018-04-19 23:26:55 GMT
    Thursday, April 19 2018 9:02 PM EDT2018-04-20 01:02:08 GMT

    Sam Sally says she was coerced by her husband, who has since died, into crossing into ISIS territory while on vacation in Turkey four years ago.

    More >>

    Sam Sally says she was coerced by her husband, who has since died, into crossing into ISIS territory while on vacation in Turkey four years ago.

    More >>
  • Breaking

    Emergency crews battling major fire at Holly Hill scrap metal business

    Emergency crews battling major fire at Holly Hill scrap metal business

    Friday, April 20 2018 9:16 PM EDT2018-04-21 01:16:33 GMT
    Aerial footage of the fire at Don's Car Crushing in Holly Hill. (Picture provided)Aerial footage of the fire at Don's Car Crushing in Holly Hill. (Picture provided)

    Crews are responding to a fire at a scrap metal dealer in Holly Hill.

    More >>

    Crews are responding to a fire at a scrap metal dealer in Holly Hill.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly