Titus County Sheriff's Office via Reuters
A Texas woman accused of sending ricin-laced letters to high-ranking officials, including President Barack Obama, has given birth prematurely while in custody, according to her attorney.
Shannon Guess Richardson gave birth to a boy named Brody on July 4, nearly four months ahead of her due date, said Tonda Curry, her Tyler, Texas-based attorney.
The baby weighed less than 2 pounds when he was born at a Texas hospital and "is in need of a lot of medical treatment," Curry said.
"I've been told he's in need of heart surgery and of course has issues with his lungs not being fully developed," Curry said of the baby, who is still hospitalized.
Richardson, of New Boston, Texas, was arrested on June 7 after three letters containing a form of the poison were mailed to Obama, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, according to federal authorities.
A federal affidavit alleges Richardson contacted FBI to try to implicate her husband in the ricin letters before she was arrested herself.
She is being held without bail at Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas.
Richardson is an actress who has had minor roles on TV shows such as "The Walking Dead" and "The Vampire Diaries." Her husband is an Army veteran.
The letters were discovered during routine mail screenings.
NBC's Pete Williams and Matthew DeLuca contributed to this report.
First published July 24 2013, 8:45 AM