Shannon Richardson has been indicted for sending poisoned letters to US president Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The letters were not only threatening but contained ricin, a plant which is highly toxic. It is manufactured into a poison which can be lethal if inhaled or injected.

Barack Obama
President Barack Obama giving a speech at Applied Materials, Texas.

The charges are two counts of sending threatening letters and one of making a threat against the President. It is possible she could also be charged for the manufacture or possession of a biological substance. Should she be found guilty she will face up to 5 years for each count - a possible 15 years for the charges so far. 

The letters were sent in an attempt to frame her husband, according to the Huffington Post. Allegedly, she sent two letters one to Barack Obama and the other to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The reasons for her decision to frame her husband are unknown. Nathan Richardson is her third husband and their relationship appears to be turbulent. Nathan filed for divorce earlier last month (June) but his attorney claims he considered separation last year. 

Michael Bloomberg
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the Sirio restaurant opening, New York.

Richardson has children from a previous relationship but they do not live with their mother. Richardson is currently 6 months pregnant (presumably by Nathan Richardson) meaning, should she be charged, her child will be born in jail. 

Shannon Richardson's attorney, Tonda Curry said her client intends to plead not guilty. Richardson has admitted to sending the letters to authorities. However, the case rests on whether the court can prove the actress was of sound mind when she sent the letters in May. 

The letter to Obama read "what's in this letter is nothing compared to what I've got in store for you, Mr President". Yet Curry remains adamant that her client had not sent the letters "for the purpose of hurting the president, the mayor or anyone else". Another of her arguments points out that letters to powerful figures are usually opened by an aide. 

It's something of a poor argument especially as Richardson appears to have deliberately included a poisonous substance in with the letters. 

The 35-year-old Texan has appeared in Vampire Diaries, Franklin and Bash, The Change-Up and The Walking Dead. She uses the name Shannon Guess. 

Barack and Michelle Obama
Michelle and Barack Obama at the Inaugural Ball, Washington D.C.