Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

National and World

April 23, 2013

Hearing to focus on ricin suspect's mental state

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — The third day of a hearing for the Mississippi man accused of mailing poisoned letters to President Barack Obama, a U.S. senator and a local judge was expected to include testimony on his mental state after authorities acknowledged they have found little physical evidence so far.

Christi McCoy, defense attorney for Paul Kevin Curtis, said Tuesday's hearing was expected to include testimony from David Daniels, a Tupelo, Miss., attorney who says Curtis threatened him after a rehearsal for an Elvis impersonators' show Daniels helped organize in 2002. Also, a law enforcement official was expected to testify about Curtis' suicide attempt in Chicago in 1991.

On Monday, FBI Agent Brandon Grant testified that Friday searches of Curtis' vehicle and house in Corinth, Miss., found no ricin, ingredients for the poison, or devices used to make it. A search of Curtis' computers found no evidence he researched making ricin.

"There was no apparent ricin, castor beans or any material there that could be used for the manufacturing, like a blender or something," Grant testified. He speculated that Curtis could have thrown away the processor. Grant said technicians are now doing a "deep dive" on the suspect's computers after initially finding no "dirty words" indicating Curtis had searched for information on ricin.

McCoy has insisted there is no physical evidence connecting Curtis to the mailings and that he may have been framed.

Through McCoy, Curtis has denied involvement in letters sent to Obama, Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker, and a Lee County, Miss., judge. The first of the letters was found April 15.

"The searches are concluded, not one single shred of evidence was found to indicate Kevin could have done this," McCoy told reporters after the hearing.

U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Allan Alexander ended the hearing after lunch Monday, citing a personal schedule conflict. After the hearing concluded, McCoy questioned why Curtis would have signed the letters "I am KC and I approve this message," a phrase he had used on his Facebook page.

Text Only
National and World
Local News
AP Video
Weather Gives Washington Firefighters Hope Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message $5M Bond Set for Teens in Homeless Killings New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Obama Calls for Immediate Access to Crash Site Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism Native American Teens Get Taste of College Legendary Actor James Garner Dies Raw: Eric Garner's Wife Collapses at Rally in NY Raw: Texas Gov. Rick Perry Visits Iowa
Sister Newspapers' News