In the United States, residents enjoy a sense of freedom, and that includes the innate freedom to oppose the viewpoints of any elected government official. But that freedom does not give someone the license to send those officials threatening and/or poison-laced letters, which is what a Texas mom has allegedly done and which has cost her child custody. Though the child custody aspect of the case is not necessarily the focal point, it does bring to light how quickly a minor’s guardianship can become integral to a criminal case.
The woman, who recently gave birth, will go to trial for her reported role in sending threatening letters from her Texas home, some of which were laced with the toxic chemical ricin. The letters in question were addressed to President Barack Obama and the mayor of a large northeastern city. Investigators believe they originated from the accused woman’s house. In past discussions with police, the woman reportedly blamed the letters on her husband, who has since filed for divorce and has not been charged.
Left in limbo has been the couple’s newborn son. A civil court has given child custody of the infant to his father on a temporary basis. Should the woman be found not guilty of the crimes of which she has been accused, it is probable that the child custody issues may be revisited by a court at a later date.
Child custody determinations can change given the underlying circumstances within a family. Clearly, fathers are able to receive child custody if mothers are seen as unfit to care for children, including those who are still infants. There has been no word as to the visitation rights of the mother while she remains incarcerated.
Source: ksla.com, Shannon Richardson found competent to stand trial in ricin case, Carolyn Roy, Sept. 11, 2013