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Thursday
Jun132013

Texas Man Framed by Wife for Ricin Letters Harbors No Anger

Obtained by ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The husband of a pregnant actress, accused of sending poison-laced letters to President Obama and then trying to frame him for the crime, says it's "heartbreaking" to think that his spouse implicated him, but he harbors no anger and hopes to move on with his life.

"The way I look at it, being angry is a waste of energy," Nathaniel Richardson told ABC News.  "She has done this to herself.  She has destroyed my reputation and my life but there's a way up from this and if I sit here and focus on anger, I can't focus on getting on with my life."

Shannon Richardson, 35, initially called the FBI claiming that her husband was the person who had sent a series of letters tainted with small amounts of the toxin ricin to Obama, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Bloomberg's top gun-control lobbyist in Washington, D.C., in late May.

But when investigators looked closer, they arrested Shannon herself on June 7 at the couple's home in New Boston, Texas.  The actress, who played bit roles in movies and on TV shows including The Walking Dead, is charged with mailing a threatening communication to the president.  She could face 10 years in federal prison if found guilty.

Shannon's attorney said overnight in a statement to ABC News, "I have seen no evidence to even suggest that my client desired to hurt the president or any of the other individuals involved.  She is incarcerated for the first time in her life.  Her primary concern remains her children and the trauma they are experiencing."

Shannon contacted authorities on May 30 and implicated her husband of almost two years, according to an FBI affidavit.

"I'm sitting there thinking I don't even know what ricin is," Nathaniel said.  "I wasn't even saying it right at first.  I was calling it 'licin'.  Really, everything I've learned about it I've learned from [the FBI]."

Nathaniel claims he didn't even know who Bloomberg was.  "No sir, I thought it was [N.J. Gov.] Chris Christie," he said.

Shannon told investigators that she had found small, brown beans with white speckles -- a description matching the key ingredient in ricin, castor beans -- at the couple's home in New Boston.  She also told investigators that she had found a sticky note on her husband's desk with addresses for Bloomberg and Obama, the affidavit said.

Shannon failed a polygraph test and investigators found inconsistencies in her story, according to the affidavit.

Finally, the affidavit says, in an interview with authorities on June 6, Shannon Richardson admitted that she had received syringes and lye -- a caustic chemical used in making ricin -- in the mail, that she had printed the labels for the letters, and that she mailed them.  However, she insisted that her husband typed them and "made her" print and send them, the affidavit says.

Shannon Richardson was arrested the next day and remains in custody as her husband tries to pick up the pieces and move on with his life.

Nathaniel says there's nothing left in his marriage to love.

"The person she was wasn't real," he said.  "Just couldn't believe it.  Heartbreaking."

He filed for divorce last week.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio