Donate

    Decades in prison for Hatboro man who delivered ricin-laced card to rival

    A suburban Philadelphia man who sent a scratch-and-sniff birthday card laced with the deadly poison ricin to a romantic rival has been sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison.

    The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that 20-year-old Nicholas Helman of Hatboro wept as he said goodbye to his family after being sentenced Monday in Bucks County Court.

    Helman pleaded guilty to attempted murder, attempted aggravated assault, risking a catastrophe and other crimes.

    Prosecutors say he laced the card with a lethal dose of homemade ricin in March 2014, then walked eight miles to the Warminster home of a man dating his ex-girlfriend and put the card in the mailbox.

    Helman says he is “extremely sorry” and wishes he could “turn back the clock.”

    The romantic rival wasn’t injured.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Help us get to 100% of our membership goal to support the reporters covering our region, the producers bringing you great local programs and the educators who teach all our children.