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Hearing begins in ricin mail case

April 22, 2013 at 7:06 PM

OXFORD, Miss., April 22 (UPI) -- No evidence presented in an Oxford, Miss., court Monday indicates Kevin Curtis sent ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and others, his attorney said.

Speaking after a hearing ended, attorney Christi McCoy said she and co-counsel Hal Neilson asked the U.S. Attorney's Office to let her client out on bail while the investigation continues.

"We understand evidence made it look like Kevin did this ... but we believe they should be satisfied there is no criminal threat from Kevin Curtis."

Curtis, 45, was arrested Wednesday at his Corinth, Miss., home on charges of mailing threats to public officials. Obama, Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Lee County, Miss., Justice Court Judge Sadie Holland were among alleged recipients of letters containing the poisonous substance ricin, the (Tupelo) Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal said.

At the hearing the defense suggested the threatening letters could have been sent by another person and suggested J. Everett Dutschke of Tupelo.

Dutschke, a martial arts instructor awaiting trial for three indictments against him on child molestation charges, has had a long-running email feud with Curtis, the newspaper said.

Dutschke, speaking outside of court after the hearing ended, insisted he had nothing to do with the mailings, saying: "I categorically deny it. I met the guy (Curtis) on two occasions. I wasn't going to be pulled into his fantasy world."

Curtis' hearing was ended by the judge's scheduling issues and was reset for Tuesday morning.

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