Jump to search Jump to main navigation Jump to main content Jump to footer navigation

Global Security Newswire

Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues

Produced by
NationalJournal logo

Chief Suspect in Texas Ricin Case Will Get Psych Evaluation

A Texan woman who is the chief suspect in a federal investigation aimed at identifying the sender of one batch of ricin-filled envelopes to President Obama and other prominent public figures will undergo a psychological evaluation at the request of her public defender, the Associated Press reported on Thursday.

Shannon Richardson is charged with mailing threatening letters to the president and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, though she initially came forward to authorities to accuse her estranged husband of sending the ricin. Richardson, who is pregnant, maintains that she sent the letters because her husband coerced her. The mental health assessment is to take place potentially in the next month; the results will be used to make a decision on whether she can participate in her own defense.

Her court-appointed attorney, Tonda Curry, emphasized to journalists that she is prepared to mount a "vigorous defense" to any formal accusation that Richardson enclosed ricin in the threatening letters.

In a separate federal ricin investigation surrounding a Spokane, Wash. man, prosecutors are expected to have to overcome the legal hurdle of showing that the five letters allegedly mailed by suspect Matthew Ryan Buquet actually contained the biotoxin, which is derived from castor beans, the Spokesman Review reported on Thursday.

Note to our Readers

GSN ceased publication on July 31, 2014. Its articles and daily issues will remain archived and available on NTI’s website.

NTI Analysis

  • Sub-Saharan Africa 1540 Reporting

    Oct. 20, 2015

    The UNSCR 1540 implementation process in sub-Saharan Africa has been slow. As of October 2011, 26 of the 48 states in the region have submitted 1540 national reports.

  • Latin America and the Caribbean 1540 Reporting

    Oct. 16, 2015

    This report is part of a collection examining implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540, which requires all states to implement measures aimed at preventing non-state actors from acquiring NBC weapons, related materials, and their means of delivery. It details implementation efforts in Central America, South America and the Caribbean to-date.

Country Profile

Flag of United States

United States

This article provides an overview of the United States’ historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.

Learn More →