TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) -It was Sunday evening when Steve Holland first heard about the suspicious sent to his mother, Lee County Justice Court Judge Sadie Holland. “She received a letter and opened her mail like she traditionally always does and the threatening letter and ricin was inside, she read the letter but turned it over to law enforcement authorities,” Holland said. Holland says his 80-year-old-mother, who also helps run the family’s funeral business, has shown no signs of illness. “She didn’t expect this to happen at this stage in her life, but she’s resolute, strong, extraordinary, she’s a true renaissance woman, and she’s going to pull through and we are too,” he said.
Holland says he can’t remember ever meeting the suspect, but he believes Paul Kevin Curtis sent him several letters over the years.“He’s a somewhat regular letter writer to public officials, or I think certain public officials and he apparently likes for you to know where he personally stands,” Holland said. Tupelo attorney Jim Waide was contacted by the Curtis family to help them deal with the media spotlight. Waide represented Paul Kevin Curtis in a case against the North Mississippi Medical Center years ago. But Waide says he withdrew from the case because of his client’s mental state. “When he is off of his medication he goes through these paranoid stages where he believes everybody is out to get him , it’s impossible for any attorney to represent him because, in my opinion, before long he will think the attorney is out to get him,” Waide said.
Waide says Curtis’ family is devastated at the recent turn of events. “This is very stressful to the family. He has a respected, some of the nicest people I’ve ever met are his family. His family has been trying to get him mental help for years,” he said. The Curtis family is expected to release a statement through Waide’s law firm. In the meantime, the attorney who once represented Paul Kevin Curtis says it’s ironic that the Northeast Mississippi man may finally get the help he needs, as long as he remains in federal custody.