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January 25, 2015 / 5 Shevat, 5775
 
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Elvis Impersonator Not the Poison Pen Pal

The man arrested and charged last week with sending ricin-laced letters to several officials, including President Barack Obama, was released Tuesday and all charges were dropped.
Paul Kevin Curtis was released from prison on Tues., April 23.

Paul Kevin Curtis was released from prison on Tues., April 23.

Everyone’s favorite bad guy – because in his charming Elvis impersonator way he was not scary and was, without any doubt, a lone actor – is no longer in custody.  Because, it appears, he was framed.

Paul Kevin Curtis, the man arrested on April 17 for sending ricin-laced letters to U.S. President Barack Obama, Senator Roger Wicker (R-MISS) and a Mississippi state judge, was released from custody on Tuesday, April 23.

Late Tuesday afternoon it was announced by U.S. Attorney Felicia Adams that the charges against Curtis were dropped, citing “new information” that has been uncovered.

On Monday, authorities had reported that no ricin residue was found in either Curtis’ home or car, nor did they find any searches on his computer for how to make the poison, or any tools in his home that could have been used in making it.

Curtis, an Elvis impersonator from Corinth, Mississippi, was arrested last week and charged with sending a threat to the president, after letters containing the poison triggered security scares around Washington.

According to the attorney for Curtis, the letters used phrases Curtis uses on social media.  The letters ended with the phrase, “I am KC and I approve this message,” according to CNN.

In a rambling speech captured on video, Curtis described his desire to return to “normal life,” after his incarceration.  The speech included hopes for the rekindling of his stalled music career, mentions of his favorite charities and the fact that he wants to “slow down and end abortions.”   He also mentioned that when he was first approached by the authorities and they mentioned “ricin,” he thought they said “rice,” and he told them he doesn’t eat it.

“I respect President Obama and love my country. I would never do anything to pose a threat to him or any other U.S. official,” Paul Kevin Curtis said during Tuesday’s news conference.

After Curtis was released, authorities searched the home of another Mississippi man, J. Everett Dutschke.  Dutschke and Curtis have apparently been involved in an ongoing feud for years.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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