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Actress arrested on felony charge of threats to the president

Can you figure out why a pregnant actress with five kids would want to send ricin-laden letters to a mayor of a big city and to the President of the United States? That question may still be wracking the minds of federal investigators even after arresting a Texas actress on a felony charge of threatening the president. The 35-year-old New Boston woman was arraigned in a Texarkana courtroom on federal crime charges of mailing a threatening letter to the president.

It's reported that she had at first alerted federal investigators that her estranged husband did it. However, the story didn't hold up, and after failing a polygraph, she reportedly told authorities that her husband 'made' her do it. She is accused of mailing ricin-laced letters from Texas to the White House. The letters also contained threats of violence against gun-control advocates.

The husband has not been charged, but his attorney was unsure whether he'd been dropped as a suspect. He's a 33-year-old Army veteran who believes he was set up by his wife. Authorities reportedly found ricin in the couple's house and have quarantined the property due to toxicity. Reports say that they also found castor beans containing the lethal poison, along with items used to extract it.

Her five children are all from relationships other than her current husband. She is reportedly pregnant with his child. She is in federal custody, with no bond yet set. As unlikely as her involvement seems at first blush, there appears to be substantial evidence against her. The only discernible motive is to discredit the husband and to get him in extremely serious trouble.

A federal prosecution on a felony charge in Texas follows a standard procedure of pre-trial motions, discovery and potential plea-bargaining, which can culminate in a guilty plea or a trial. At first blush, the charges are so unlike the woman's persona that the existence of a serious psychiatric pathology seems likely. That may justify a temporary insanity defense, which will depend on further fact-finding and on reports of medical experts after examining and evaluating the accused.

Source: myfoxorlando.com, "Texas actress charged in Obama ricin threat," Nomaan Merchant and Danny Robbins, June 7, 2013

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