Former ricin suspect’s home is unlivable: lawyer

Bert Mohr/AP

Kevin Curtis speaks to reporters as his brother Jack Curtis looks on in Oxford, Miss. Kevin Curtis’ house is uninhabitable after investigators searched it but failed to find evidence of the deadly poison ricin, a lawyer said.

OXFORD, Miss. — Attorneys for a Mississippi man who was briefly charged with sending ricin-laced letters to the president and others are encouraged after speaking with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office about repairing or replacing the man’s house after an intensive search left it uninhabitable.

Christi McCoy, an attorney for Kevin Curtis, a 45-year-old Elvis impersonator, said Monday that she and another attorney had spoken with authorities about the process to go through to get their client’s property repaired or replaced.

She said she was encouraged by their response to a letter she sent U.S. Attorney Felicia Adams demanding that Curtis be provided temporary housing and that the government repair his Corinth, Miss., home and possessions. She also wants the government to pay his legal bills.

“We feel like the letter was well-received and we’ll be working with the FBI to get all his property returned and get his property repaired,” she said Monday night.

McCoy contended that Curtis couldn’t return home after investigators searched it but failed to find evidence of the deadly poison ricin.

“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.

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.

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, 41-year-old 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.

RELATED: FORGET ELVIS! WAYNE NEWTON IMPERSONATOR NOW EYED BY AUTHORITIES FOR MAILING RICIN LETTER WITH TAINTED POISON PRESIDENT OBAMA

Had damaging Curtis been the point of the scheme, McCoy said she believes that whoever set up her client could have done a better job of implicating him, such as planting evidence at his home.

McCoy said in an interview Monday that she still believes the FBI acted on the best information available at the time, but it’s time to make her client whole. The letter said Curtis’ life was “ruined.”

Curtis was arrested April 17. The charges were dropped six days later and Curtis was released from jail.

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