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Texas Husband: Ricin Case ‘Like A Really Bad Dream’

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TEXARKANA (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — The Texas man whose wife is accused of sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in an attempt to frame him says the experience has been “like a really bad dream.”

Nathan Richardson of New Boston told an East Texas newspaper that he’s now questioning “everything” about his pregnant wife, even the paternity of the child she’s carrying.

Shannon Richardson was arrested last Friday and charged with mailing a threatening communication to the president. Authorities allege she was trying to make it appear the letters were sent by her husband. FBI Agents said forensic analysis determined the three stamps on the envelopes of the letters Shannon Richardson sent came from the same book of stamps that the woman turned over to the FBI.

According to an FBI affidavit, Shannon Richardson first contacted authorities to implicate her husband in the scheme. But she later failed a polygraph exam, and investigators found numerous inconsistencies in her story. Court documents say Shannon lied to investigators about her involvement and that she later admitted to placing castor beans, where ricin comes from, near her husband’s golf cart.

If convicted, Shannon Richardson faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Nathan Richardson, a 33-year-old Army veteran, filed for divorce last Thursday. He told the newspaper he contemplated divorce last year but, until a few weeks ago, thought the couple had patched things up.

Richardson said he met his wife through a cousin of hers while he was working overseas. The couple exchanged emails for several months before meeting, he said. They married in October 2011.

“It seemed like a really good connection,” Richardson said. “Now I’m just thinking it’s all an act, of course. Over time, slowly she turned out to be someone she wasn’t.”

According to Richardson, his wife claimed to have health problems, but he could never determine what they were.

Shannon Richardson has played bit roles on television and in movies under the name Shannon Guess. She has five children ranging in age from 4 to 19 from other relationships, according to Nathan Richardson’s attorney, John Delk.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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