JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) — A Mississippi man who pleaded guilty to sending letters dusted with the poison ricin to President Barack Obama and other officials was sentenced Monday to 25 years in prison. James Everett Dutschke was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock in Aberdeen after telling the judge he had changed his mind […]
OXFORD, Mississippi (AP) — The May 14 sentencing for James Everett Dutschke has been moved to Oxford from Aberdeen. The order was filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court clerk’s office. No explanation for the change was included with the order. Judge Sharion Aycock will preside over the 10:30 a.m. sentencing. The 42-year-old Tupelo man […]
JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) — A lawyer asked a federal judge on Friday to delay the October trial of a Mississippi man charged with sending poison-laced letters to President Barack Obama and other officials.
Kenneth Coghlan filed the motion Friday in the federal case of James Everett Dutschke, a former martial arts instructor from Tupelo. Dutschke is charged with sending ricin-tainted letters on April 8 to Obama, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and Lee County Justice Court Judge Sadie Holland…
During the FBI’s ongoing investigation into letters containing ricin addressed to President Barack Obama, Senator Roger Wicker, and a Mississippi judicial official – Sadie Holland – evidence collected by the FBI from the former business, Tupelo Taekwondo Plus, located on Rankin Boulevard Ext. in Tupelo, Mississippi, tested positive for trace levels of ricin.
Because public safety is always the FBI’s first priority in any investigation, that location was immediately sealed off and appropriate public health authorities were notified. The FBI is now conducting further forensic examination for the purpose of identifying trace evidence, residues, and signatures of production that could provide evidence to support the investigation.
Ricin is a poison found naturally in castor beans. Ricin poisoning can occur when the substance enters the body through ingestion, inhalation, or injection. To date, the FBI is not aware of any illness as a result of exposure to these letters.
Charges were dropped Tuesday against the man accused of sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama, Mississippi State Sen. Roger Wicker and a Mississippi judge Sadie Holland, while authorities searched at another man’s home in connection with the case.
The surprising move was announced in a brief document filed in federal court in Oxford hours after Paul Kevin Curtis was released from custody. The charges were dismissed without prejudice, which means they could be re-instated if prosecutors so choose.
Attorneys for Curtis have suggested he was framed, and an FBI agent testified in court this week that no evidence of ricin was found in searches of his home. At a news conference Tuesday, they declined to discuss whether they were told what new information the government had uncovered.