Man Accused of Sending Romantic Rival Ricin-Filled Birthday Card Appears in Court

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    Nicholas Helman outside a Bucks County courtroom on May 15, 2014.

    A suburban Philadelphia teenager charged with sending a romantic rival a greeting card laced with the deadly poison ricin called made took shots at his victim and his ex as he left court this morning.

    Teen Accused in Ricin Case in Court

    [PHI] Teen Accused in Ricin Case in Court
    Hatboro teenager Nicholas Helman is set to appear in court on Thursday for allegedly attempting to poison his ex-girlfriend's boyfriend with ricin in a birthday card. (Published Thursday, May 15, 2014)

    Nicholas Helman, 19, appeared before District Judge Daniel Finello in Warminster Thursday for a preliminary hearing on charges including attempted murder, aggravated assault, making terroristic threats and simple assault.

    Investigators Search for Suspicious Package After Ricin Arrest

    [PHI] Investigators Search for Suspicious Package After Ricin Arrest
    Emergency crews and law enforcement were back out in a Hatboro neighborhood on Thursday searching for a suspicious package related to the arrest of a man accused of sending ricin in a greeting card. (Published Thursday, March 20, 2014)

    In court Thursday, Helman waived his right to a preliminary hearing. He will return to court for a formal arraignment on June 13.

    Prosecutors said that if the case goes to trial they could add more counts.

    Teen's Ricin Plan Was Recipe for Murder: Police

    [PHI] Teen's Ricin Plan Was Recipe for Murder: Police
    Neighbors and friends of Nicholas Helman talk about his arrest for allegedly using ricin to try and kill an ex-girlfriend's new lover. (Published Friday, March 21, 2014)

    The Bucks County district attorney's office accused Helman in March with delivering a ricin-laced greeting card to the home of his ex-girlfriend's boyfriend.

    Back on March 7, Helman allegedly told his co-worker at a Target store in Warrington that he had sent a scratch-and-sniff birthday card laced with ricin to the man.

    Ricin is a poison found naturally in castor beans and can cause injury and even death if chewed, inhaled or swallowed. Helman allegedly told his co-worker that he rubbed ground castor beans onto the inside of the card before sending it to his intended victim's mailbox on Olive Street in Warminster.

    Officials say Helman claimed the substance would kill anyone who came into contact with it within four days.

    Helman's co-worker called police and Helman was taken into custody.

    Two days later, investigators found a container of leftover ricin they allege Helman stashed beneath a gas-main access cap in a front yard near his home.

    Helman allegedly told police he coated the card with sodium hydroxide in an attempt to scare his ex-girlfriend so that they could reconcile their relationship. Helman also allegedly sent threatening messages to his ex and her new boyfriend in November of last year, according to investigators.

    As he left court Thursday he told reporters that his ex was a "control freak" and that he wished the man who received the letter "would cheer up."

    Helman is being held without bail.