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Actress threatens president, loses child custody

A professional actress in Texas was taken into custody on June 7 and accused of mailing poisoned communication to President Obama, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and to a leader of the mayor's gun-control group. The actress is charged with sending letters laced with ricin, a poison produced from castor beans, to the three politicians. The woman was held in federal custody and scheduled for a competency hearing on Aug. 28.

The woman originally attempted to incriminate her estranged husband. He has been granted temporary child custody over the couple's newborn son, who was born prematurely on July 4 to the woman while she was in prison. She was not present at the child custody hearing.

The husband has filed for a divorce. If the accused actress is found to be mentally incompetent, a family court judge would be very likely to rule in favor of granting her husband permanent custody. He could also be granted permanent custody if the woman were convicted of a felony in federal court.

Criminal court proceedings can be lengthy, and the accused woman may try to fight for custody in the meantime, despite being accused of federal crimes. A family law attorney may be able to adequately represent the father and ensure that a judge issues a ruling in consideration of the child's best interests. A family law attorney may be able to demonstrate how the father is able to properly provide his child with a safe home environment and stable financial and emotional support.

Source: KHOU, "Texas father gets custody of ricin suspect's baby", Associated Press, August 27, 2013

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