Mississippi Man Arrested in Ricin Case

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
April 27 2013 1:20 PM

Ricin Suspect Charged With Attempted Use of a Biological Weapon

castor beans
Ricin is a deadly poison made from castor beans

Photo by Ombrosoparacloucycle/Flickr

The second time’s the charm? Federal agents arrested a 41-year-old Mississippi martial arts instructor Saturday after his home and business were searched as part of the investigation into the ricin-laced letters that were sent to President Obama and two other public officials, reports Reuters. Everett Dutschke was taken into custody at his home in Tupelo a few days after agents searched his home and a martial arts studio he ran in the city. He was charged with "knowingly developing, producing, stockpiling, transferring, acquiring, retaining and possessing a biological agent, toxin and delivery system, for use as a weapon, to wit: ricin."

On Tuesday, charges were dropped against Paul Kevin Curtis, an Elvis impersonator who said he had been framed by Dutschke. Earlier this month, letters tainted with ricin were sent to President Obama, Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi and an 80-year-old judge, Sadie Holland, notes the Associated Press.  


Dutschke already faces charges relating to an indictment “for fondling three different children between ages 7 and 16, from 2007 to 2013,” points out Reuters. Dutschke's attorney had said earlier this week her client denied any involvement with the ricin-laced letters.

This post has been updated with new information since it was originally published.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.



The World’s Politest Protesters

The Occupy Central demonstrators are courteous. That’s actually what makes them so dangerous.

The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:58 PM The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The Feds Have Declared War on Encryption—and the New Privacy Measures From Apple and Google

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You

It spreads slowly.

These “Dark” Lego Masterpieces Are Delightful and Evocative


Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.


Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Activists Are Trying to Save an Iranian Woman Sentenced to Death for Killing Her Alleged Rapist

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

  News & Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?