The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

April 29, 2013

Lawyer: Former ricin suspect’s home is unlivable

OXFORD, Miss —  A Mississippi man’s house is uninhabitable after investigators searched it but failed to find evidence of the deadly poison ricin, a lawyer said Monday, arguing that the government should repair the home.

Kevin Curtis was once charged in the mailing of poisoned letters to President Barack Obama, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and a Mississippi judge, but the charges were later dropped. The investigation shifted last week to another man who had a falling out with Curtis, and that suspect appeared in court Monday on a charge of making ricin.

Curtis’ lawyer, Christi McCoy, has sent a letter to U.S. Attorney Felicia Adams demanding that Curtis be provided temporary housing and the government repair his Corinth, Miss., home and possessions. She also wants the government to pay his legal bills.

“To be specific, Mr. Curtis’ home is uninhabitable. I have seen a lot of post search residences but this one is quite disturbing. The agents removed art from the walls, broke the frames and tore the artwork. Mr. Curtis offered his keys but agents chose to break the lock. Mr. Curtis’ garbage was scheduled to be picked up Thursday, the day after he was snatched from his life. A week later, the garbage remains in his home, along with millions of insects it attracted,” the letter says.

Though attorneys for Curtis say their client was framed, McCoy believes whoever sent the letters had a primary goal of targeting the public officials. Curtis has said that he feuded with the man now charged in the case, James Everett Dutschke.

“I think Kevin was just an afterthought or a scapegoat,” McCoy said.

Some of the language in the letters was similar to posts on Curtis’ Facebook page and they were signed, “I am KC and I approve this message.” Curtis often used a similar online signoff.

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