UPDATES: FBI searches Dutschke’s studio

By JB Clark/NEMS Daily Journal

8:15 p.m. – From The Associated Press – After being released from jail Tuesday, Kevin Curtis, who performs as Elvis and other celebrities, described a bizarre, yearslong feud between the two, but J. Everett Dutschke insisted he had nothing to do with the letters. They contained language identical to that found on Curtis’ Facebook page and other websites, making him an early suspect.

Federal authorities have not said what led them to drop the charges against Curtis, and his lawyers say they’re not sure what new evidence the FBI has found.

Curtis said he’s not sure exactly what led to the bad blood. It involves the men’s time working together, a broken promise to help with a book by Curtis and an acrimonious exchange of emails, according to Curtis.

The two worked together at Curtis’ brother’s insurance office years ago, Curtis said. He said Dutschke told him he owned a newspaper and showed interest in publishing his book called “Missing Pieces,” about what Curtis considers an underground market to sell body parts.

But Dutschke decided not to publish the material, Curtis alleged, and later began stalking Curtis on the Internet.

For his part, Dutschke said he didn’t even know Curtis that well.

“He almost had my sympathy until I found out that he was trying to blame somebody else,” Dutschke said Monday. “I’ve known he was disturbed for a long time. Last time we had any contact with each other was at some point in 2010 when I threatened to sue him for fraud for posting a Mensa certificate that is a lie. He is not a Mensa member. That certificate is a lie.”

Curtis acknowledges posting a fake Mensa certificate on Facebook, but says it was an online trap set up for Dutschke because he believed Dutschke was stalking him online. He knew Dutschke also claimed to be a member of the organization for people with high IQs. Dutschke had a Mensa email address during a legislative campaign he mounted in 2007.

Dutschke started a campaign to prove him a liar, Curtis said, and allegedly harassed him through emails and social networking.

Curtis said the two agreed to meet at one point to face off in person, but Dutschke didn’t show up.

“The last email I got from him, was, ‘Come back tomorrow at 7 and the results of you being splattered all over the pavement will be public for the world to see what a blank, blank, blank you are.’ And then at that point, I knew I was dealing with a coward,” Curtis said.

Hal Neilson, one of the attorneys for Curtis, has said the defense gave authorities a list of people who may have had a reason to hurt Curtis, and that Dutschke’s name came up. Efforts by The Associated Press to reach Curtis, his lawyers and his brother were unsuccessful on Wednesday.

Read more about this case in Thursday’s NEMS Daily Journal.

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3:55 p.m. – Lori Nail Basham, an attorney who has represented Dutschke in previous criminal charges, told the Daily Journal’s JB Clark that she had been in contact with Dutschke throughout the day. “We have complied with all request from authorities and they have told me within the past hour there has been no warrant issued for (Dutschke’s) his arrest.” Basham said. She added that authorities didn’t have a chance to process the van for evidence yesterday and Dutschke brought it in today to them.

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3:27 p.m. – J. Everett Dutschke is on the scene at the Taekwondo Plus business. … Authorities are search a Green van that Dutschke drove up in. No charges have been filed against Dutschke and he hasn’t been arrested.

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12:46 p.m. – A Bolo (“be on the look-out”) was sent out by Tupelo Police to be on the look out for a 1998 Green Dodge Caravan in relation to a FBI investigation. According to tax records J. Everett Dutschke has a Green Dodge Caravan registered to him in Lee County. Local and Federal officials had no comment on the Bolo.

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12:22 p.m. – From The Associated Press – No investigators appeared to be at the Tupelo home Wednesday morning, and J. Everett Dutschke said he’d gone to a friend’s house to rest. Piles of items could be seen all over the floor through the window. The home was searched Tuesday by dozens of officials, some in hazmat suits, from early in the afternoon until about 11 p.m. CDT. Officials declined to comment on what they had found or on the next phase of the investigation.

At one point, two FBI agents and two members of the state’s chemical response team left Dutschke’s property and began combing through ditches, culverts and woods about a block away from his house in the neighborhood of single-family detached homes.

Dutschke (DUHST’-kee), who spoke with The Associated Press by telephone during the search, said his house was also searched last week. He said he and his wife had gone to a friend’s Wednesday because they didn’t feel safe at their home.

“They ripped everything out of the house,” he said Wednesday morning, adding: “I haven’t slept at all.”

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10 a.m. – TUPELO – Investigators from the FBI and members of the National Guard are currently searching the martial arts studio of J. Everett Dutschke.
A mobile lab and a tent have been set up in the parking lot in front of Taekwondo Plus. Law enforcement has blocked off Rankin Extended just past Baskin Robbins.
Officials spent much of Tuesday afternoon and evening searching Dutschke’s home on the day Kevin Curtis was released from jail in connection with poison-laced letters sent to President Obama, Sen. Roger Wicker and Justice Court Judge Sadie Holland. Before charges were dropped against Curtis, his attorney had mentioned Dutschke as a possible suspect. No charges have been filed against Dutschke.
Check DJournal.com for more information as it becomes available.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.