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Richardson is competent to stand trial; arraigned today

A Texas federal judge this morning ruled that Shannon Richardson is competent to understand the charges against her and stand trial.
A federal magistrate in East Texas District Court in Texarkana today ruled Shannon Richardson is competent to understand the charges against her and stand trial.

Richardson, 35, of New Boston, Texas, was arraigned on one count of threatening the President of the United States and two counts of mailing threatening communications, after letters containing ricin were mailed to President Barack Obama, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a gun control activist.

Following the competency ruling, Judge Carolyn Craven arraigned Richardson on the charges. Richardson pleaded not guilty.

Craven scheduled a pretrial hearing before U.S. District Judge Michael Schneider on Oct. 7, which she said would precede Richardson's jury trial.

Defense attorney Tonda Curry requested a detention hearing, reminding the judge the original detention hearing was waived in June, pending the compentency hearing. Cravens set a court date of Sept. 11 for that hearing.

Cravens told NBC 6 News she plans to ask the court to release Richardson from jail into a highly-structured approved residence pending her trial.

Curry also said she plans to go forward with a jury trial, though she doubts the October date will stick, due to the tremendous amount of evidence turned over to her today by federal prosecutors. 

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