Woman, 70, pleads not guilty in Shelburne ricin case

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A 70-year-old woman accused of having the potentially deadly agent, ricin,at her residence entered a not guilty plea in front of a federal judge on Friday.

Betty Miller was a resident of Wake Robin, a senior community in Shelburne, where investigators say she told them she made homemade ricin to harm herself. Miller also told investigators, according to court documents, she wanted to test its effectiveness on others to see if it worked, first.

Miller appeared at the Federal Court in Burlington Friday afternoon to answer to charges of knowing possession of an unregistered select agent. She pleaded not guilty. 

Miller’s case will go to trial. Her attorney, Paul Volk, has requested a 90 day delay due to the case’s “complicated” nature. He cited an “ongoing discovery of intervention” as well as efforts to obtain Miller’s prior treatment records. Volk said Miller has an extensive mental health history.

Volk said Miller will be held at Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility until a treatment plan is put in place.

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