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Texas Woman Accused In Ricin Case To Undergo Psych Exam

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TEXARKANA (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — An east Texas woman accused of sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in an attempt to frame her husband will undergo a psychological evaluation.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Caroline Craven on Thursday ordered that Shannon Richardson undergo the exam after her court-appointed attorney, Tonda Curry, requested it. Curry said in a court motion that she had observed “a pattern of behavior” that made her wonder if Richardson can assist with her defense.

New Boston resident Richardson has been jailed without bond since her arrest June 7 on a charge of mailing a threatening communication to the president. The letters were postmarked May 20 in Shreveport, Louisiana.

The government alleges Richardson was trying to pin the crime on her estranged husband.

Richardson did not speak at Thursday’s hearing. She appeared in an orange jumpsuit with her hands shackled.

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

(©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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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