Man asks to withdraw guilty plea in ricin case

 

A Mississippi man who pleaded guilty in January to sending ricin-laced letters to President Obama and other officials asked to withdraw his plea Monday. 

U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock delayed James Everett Dutschke's sentencing and asked lawyers to prepare briefs on his motion to withdraw the plea, according to The Associated Press

The judge said the court would not necessarily grant his motion and said she will likely hold another hearing before sentencing. 

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Dutschke in January pleaded guilty to the charges as part of a plea deal that included a 25-year prison sentence. He had been indicted last June for sending letters to Obama, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and a judge in the state. The letter addressed to President Obama threatened bodily harm. 

The 41-year-old Tupelo, Miss., man claimed he was innocent and accused the FBI and prosecutors of lying, according to the report. 

According to the Justice Department, Dutschke mailed the letters in an attempt to frame another man, Paul Kevin Curtis, who was initially arrested in connection with the crime but later released. 

According to court documents, Dutschke researched how to produce ricin online and purchased Castor beans or seeds, a main ingredient in the toxin, as well as other tools, including gloves, masks and grinders.

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