Dutschke to face second charge involving ricin-laced letters

TUPELO — A man charged with sending poison-laced letters to President Barack Obama and other officials is scheduled to appear in court tomorrow on a new charge.

James Everett Dutschke has been jailed since April on charges of sending ricin-tainted letters to Obama, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and a Mississippi judge, Sadie Holland.

A new indictment on Nov. 20 says Dutschke, while incarcerated, tried to recruit someone to make more ricin and send it to Wicker, a Republican. The indictment says Dutschke, 42, was again trying to frame Elvis impersonator Paul Kevin Curtis, the same man he’s accused of trying to set up the first time in the case.

Dutschke’s lawyer didn’t immediately respond to a message yesterday. Dutschke is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Oxford.

Curtis was arrested on charges of sending the letters in April, but the charges were dropped when the investigation shifted to Dutschke. Curtis says the men have feuded for years.

Authorities first focused on Curtis because the letters contained statements that he had often used on his Facebook page, including the line, “I am KC and I approve this message.” The letters also contained the phrase “Missing Pieces,” the same title as an unpublished book Curtis wrote about his belief that there’s a black market for body parts in the United States.

The new indictment said Dutschke also wanted a message in the subsequent letter: “It doesn’t matter the Fife types have the wrong one. D. had to be sacrificed to show the corruption in the system. I tried to warn you. Ha. K.”

Dutschke is a former martial arts instructor in the north Mississippi town of Tupelo, Elvis’ birthplace. He pleaded not guilty to the original five counts and denies sending the letters. The new indictment adds another count. He faces up to life in prison, if convicted of the most serious charge, the production of a biological weapon. He’s being held without bond. His trial is scheduled for May 27.

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