Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Suitable for Framing

The Elvis impersonator accused of sending ricin-laced letters to President Obama and others has been sprung.

One day after the F.B.I. said it could find no evidence that the man, Paul Kevin Curtis, was behind the plot, a federal judge released him from jail and federal authorities shifted focus to another person of interest in the case.

Lawyers for Mr. Curtis, 45, a celebrity impersonator, said he had been framed by a longtime personal enemy, J. Everett Dutschke, a martial arts instructor from Tupelo, Miss. F.B.I. agents raided Mr. Dutschke’s house but did not immediately bring charges against him. Mr. Dutschke, reached by phone, denied involvement but did not elaborate.

At a news conference after his release, Mr. Curtis said he did not harbor any ill feelings toward prosecutors or the president and was relieved to be free. “I respect President Obama,” he said. “I love my country and would never do anything to pose a threat to him or any other U.S. official.”

Mr. Curtis, a party entertainer who dresses and sings as Elvis, Prince, Johnny Cash, Bon Jovi and others, had been in jail since Wednesday. He said he had never even heard of ricin. “I thought they said rice,” he said. “I said I don’t even eat rice.”

He was caught in a trap and couldn’t go on … with suspicious minds.

Thank you very much.

TPM has the backstory on J. Everett Dutschke, the new person of interest in the case.  Among other things, he’s a failed GOP candidate in Mississippi and under investigation for child molestation.

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