More Twists in Ricin Case, Dutschke House Searched
TUPELO, Miss.–There’s just not enough evidence against 45-year-old Paul Kevin Curtis, said his attorney following an order from a federal judge to dismiss charges against him Tuesday. The Elvis impersonator, who some consider eccentric, had been accused of sending ricin-laced letters to Pres. Obama, Sen. Roger Wicker and Judge Sadie Holland.
The hearing was continued twice and the third try ended with the charges being dropped.
“I want to…thank Roger Wicker for his kind words about me in the press,” said Curtis at a news conference held following the dismissal. Wicker told media he had hired Curtis to play at a party and that he was “very entertaining”.
“I respect Pres. Obama. I love my country and I would never do anything to cause a threat to him or any other U.S. official.”
Curtis told reporters he didn’t know what ricin was and thought the media was talking about rice.
“I don’t even eat rice,” he said.
The home of Tupelo martial arts instructor James Everett Dutschke the came under scrutiny. He blamed Curtis’ defense attorney for the search and denied any involvement.
“Christi McCoy, the defense attorney for Kevin Curtis, had said the FBI needs to look at this guy,” he told reporters near his home as it was being searched.
He allowed them to search voluntarily. He was asked by a reporter if officials would find anything suspicious.
“Everybody has something suspicious in their house,” he said. “But no, there’s nothing related to these letters, there’s nothing here.”
“One (of the agents) said we could be here for days, in which case I guess I’ll be sleeping in the street with my family. Thanks Christi McCoy.”
Charges were originally brought against Curtis after language in the letters sent to Obama, Wicker and Holland seemed to match language used by Curtis in other instances, names “I’m KC and I approved this message”.