Video: Ricin Letter Case Takes Strange Twist

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ABERDEEN, Miss. (WCBI) — An unexpected twist happened in a high profile case in Aberdeen this morning. James Dutschke, who pleaded guilty mailing ricin laced letters, asked the judge to throw out his guilty plea.

“There is no poison, there is no toxin, there is no ricin. There never was.”

Those were the words of forty two year old James Everette Dutschke in Federal Court this morning. Dutschke was to be sentenced 25 years but instead, he withdrew his plea deal and denied any wrong doing.

“It was bizarre. That’s really the only way I know to describe it,” says Christie McCoy.

Christie McCoy is the attorney for Paul Kevin Curtis, the man Dutschke accuses of mailing ricin letters. Investigators cleared Curtis of any wrong doing. Instead, Dutschke was arrested and charged for the crime.

Now, Dutschke wants the court to withdraw his plea deal and even accused prosecutors of lying to prove their case against him.

“Mr. Dutschke is simply just mistaken. The mask, as I said in court, was the mask that came from that he threw away in the trash can. According to lab analysis, it tested positive for the presence of ricin on the outside and it tested positive for his DNA which is nuclear DNA, not mitochondrial. The lab report speaks for itself,” says Lead Prosecutor, Chad Lamar.

Defense attorney Kenneth Coghlan will file the motion to withdraw on Dutschke’s behalf. It’ll be up to the court to grant or deny the request. Still, Dutschke has to fight a civil case filed by Curtis.

“We filed a civil suit against Dutschke prior to his entering his plea. It’s kind of all just been on hold because we really thought we would get more of a resolution here. But obviously, it’ll be picking up now because he is now saying he didn’t do it,” says McCoy.

Dutschke also has to face three ricin related charges filed by the state.

Dutschke also said a number strange things in his final statement like “he’d offer to eat the ricin letters to prove they weren’t toxic”. He also called Paul Curtis “The town drunk and that he dressed like Barney”. While, bizarre to many, it appears Dutschke will have another day in court.

Categories: Crime, Local News

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