Ricin Suspect Again Blames Elvis Impersonator for Attacks
Posted at 6:02 p.m. on May 14
Wicker was a target of ricin-laced letters last year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Four months after pleading guilty to mailing poison-laced letters to elected officials such as President Barack Obama and Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., the man accused wants to recant.
James Everett Dutschke, of Tupelo, Miss., claimed Tuesday that he was making a harmless fertilizer using castor beans, telling a federal judge that prosecutors lied when they said he made the poison, according to the Associated Press.
Dutschke offered to “dump the contents of the two remaining letters on a peanut and butter sandwich and eat it and wash it down with a glass of chocolate milk,” before being cut off by U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock.
In January, Dutschke pleaded guilty to four ricin-related charges and was scheduled to be sentenced during the hearing. The most serious charge, production of a biological weapon, carries a potential life sentence.
Aycock did not rule immediately on his request.
Dutschke denied responsibility for the ricin-laced letters that rocked Capitol Hill in April 2013. He again blamed an Elvis impersonator named Paul Kevin Curtis, whom Dutschke has been accused of trying to frame in the immediate wake of the attacks. Curtis, whom Wicker once hired to entertain at a party, was arrested but all charges were later dropped.
Court officials have recommended Dutschke should serve from 20 years to life in prison.