By Patsy R. Brumfield
ABERDEEN – J. Everett Dutschke, accused of masterminding a poison-letter scheme against President Obama and others, is set for trial May 27, a U.S. District Court document filed Wednesday shows.
The jury trial will be presided over by Judge Sharion Aycock in Aberdeen.
Dutschke, 42, a former Tupelo martial arts instructor, says he is not guilty of making ricin and sending it in letters to Obama, Sen. Roger Wicker and Lee County Justice Court Judge Sadie Holland.
He also maintains his innocence in a charge that he tried to blame the alleged crimes on Corinth Elvis impersonator Paul Kevin Curtis, who was first arrested and a week later released after prosecutors failed to link him to the scheme.
Curtis has sued Dutschke and demanded damages from the U.S. Department of Justice. The men apparently have feuded for years, Curtis said.
Dutschke was due for trial in October, but his public defenders withdrew from representation because of a client conflict, they said.
Soon after, the court appointed Oxford attorney Ken Coghlan, who then asked Aycock to delay the October trial so that more work could be done to prepare Dutschke’s defense.
Dutschke has been held without bond in the Lafayette County Detention Center in Oxford since his April 27 arrest at his Tupelo home.