Once upon a time, Shannon Guess Richardson was best known for making minor acting appearances on The Walking Dead and in The Blind Side. Now, she’s best known as one of a few dozen people who have been accused of trying to murder a sitting United States President, and she’ll spend the next 18 years of her life in a Federal Prison thinking about that.
Exactly how much intent was behind the assignation attempt, however, is still very unclear. Last year, Richardson reportedly mailed three letters to President Obama, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns Mark Glaze. They contained small amounts of ricin and ranted about the Second Amendment, promising far worse than the ricin if anyone ever arrived to take her family’s guns. They were intercepted prior to reaching either man’s desk and obviously taken very seriously.
Initially, the evidence seemed to point toward Shannon Guess Richardson’s estranged husband, but according to CNN, the FBI eventually discovered she was almost certainly behind the whole thing and may have fabricated some evidence to make him look guilty. Richardson eventually pled guilty and was officially sentenced this week to the 18 years, as well as a fine of $367,000.
Here’s what Richardson told the court, as per USA Today…
"I never intended for anybody to be hurt. I'm not a bad person. I don't have it in me to hurt anyone. I do love my country, and I respect my president."
Richardson’s career as an actress never generated a ton of momentum, but she did appear in a wide variety of programs including The Vampire Diaries and Franklin & Bash. Given enough time, maybe she could have accomplished a lot more, but sadly, she’ll now never get that chance.
No one was harmed from any of the ricin letters.