By Patsy R. Brumfield
OXFORD – J. Everett Dutschke of Tupelo is accused of attempting to get someone else to obtain or make the poison ricin to send to U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker while Dutschke was in federal custody, a new indictment states today.
He continues to faces all other charges associated with federal claims that he masterminded and carried out a scheme to send ricin-laden letters to President Obama and other elected officials.
Today, in U.S. District Court, the grand jury document re-indicted him on the first five charges made against him last May, but added a sixth accusing him of attempting to obtain the poison or biological agent, ricin, in June, which was after he was arrested, jailed and indicted.
Included in what’s called a superseding indictment also is the charge that he attempted to frame Corinth Elvis impersonator Kevin Curtis, with whom he apparently feuded for years.
Dutschke, 42, a former martial arts instructor, denies all the charges.
The new indictment claims the alleged second attempt against Wicker was aimed at convincing authorities that Curtis was really the one behind the scheme.
• Come back for more details or read Friday’s Daily Journal.
• EARLIER POST – Attorney seeks more information to prepare for May trial
By Patsy R. Brumfield
OXFORD – Ricin-letter scheme defendant J. Everett Dutschke’s attorney wants the federal court to force prosecutors to provide him with pre-trial information about more than 42 expert witnesses the government claims it plans to call for the 2014 trial.
Attorney Ken Coghlan of Oxford today filed a motion to compel what’s called discovery or information already in hand by prosecutors so that he can prepare for trial, set Wednesday to begin May 27 in Aberdeen.
Dutschke, a 42-year-old former Tupelo martial arts instructor, faces multiple federal charges that he masterminded a scheme to make the poison ricin and send it in letters to President Obama, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker of Tupelo and Lee County Justice Court Judge Sadie Holland.
He also is accused of trying to frame Kevin Curtis of Corinth, an Elvis impersonator with whom he reportedly feuded for years.
Curtis was the first suspect arrested in the letter plot, but was released a week later when the government failed to link him to any evidence supporting his involvement.
In his motion, Coghlan asks the court to force prosecutors to provide a list of these 42-plus witnesses, a written summary of what they will testify to, their qualifications and their opinions.
He says he has only their names and “an extraordinary large amount of documents and reports in discovery,” which have yet to be linked with witness testimony.
Coghlan notes that without testimony summaries, he cannot determine whether he needs to retain another 42 or so experts to rebut the government’s experts.
Dutschke maintains he is innocent of all charges. He remains without bond in the Lafayette County Detention Center.
Read Friday’s Daily Journal for more information.