Sure, let’s release the guy who tried to kill the president. That really makes a lot of sense eh?
AP – A federal official says the man charged with sending poison letters to President Barack Obama, a U.S. senator and a Mississippi judge has been released from jail.
Jeff Woodfin, chief deputy with the U.S. Marshals Service in Oxford, Miss., says Paul Kevin Curtis has been released from custody.
Woodfin says he doesn’t know if there were any conditions on the release.
The development comes hours after officials canceled a detention and preliminary hearing on Tuesday.
UPDATE: Fox News gives us more information on why he may have been released:
Two sources had earlier confirmed to Fox News that the FBI was looking into the possibility that he might have been framed as part of a grudge against him from someone in his neighborhood. A detention hearing for Paul Kevin Curtis that was scheduled for Tuesday has also been postponed.
The development comes after investigators said they hadn’t found any ricin in his house. Agent Brandon Grant said that a search of Curtis’ vehicle and house in Corinth, Miss., on Friday did not turn up ricin or ingredients for the poison. A search of Curtis’ computers has found no evidence so far that he researched making ricin.
Through his lawyer, Curtis has denied involvement in letters sent to Obama, Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker, and a Lee County, Miss., judge. The letters, bearing a Memphis, Tenn., postmark, were detected beginning April 15.
Curtis’ lawyer said in court that someone may have framed Curtis, suggesting that a former co-worker with whom Curtis had an extended exchange of angry emails may have set him up.
The FBI agent filling out charging documents, though, said there was “probable cause to believe” that Curtis broke federal law by sending the ricin-laced letters — those letters, intercepted in the wake of the Boston bombing attack, caused alarm in Washington last week as law enforcement scrambled to respond.
UPDATE 2: Fox News is reporting that the charges have been dropped against former suspect:
A court filing says charges have been dropped against a Mississippi man accused of sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama and others.
The one-sentence document was filed Tuesday, hours after Paul Kevin Curtis was released from custody. The document says the ongoing investigation has revealed new but unspecified information.
An FBI agent had testified in court that no evidence of ricin was found at Curtis’s home.
Meanwhile, authorities searched Tuesday at the home of another Mississippi man in connection with the case.
UPDATE 3: Smoking Gun reports that the feds have another suspect:
During a court hearing yesterday, lawyers for Curtis contended that he had been framed and pointed investigators toward James Everett Dutschke, a 41-year-old Tupelo man with whom Curtis has feuded. Like Curtis, Dutschke is a martial arts expert, a musician, and a Mensa member.
Dutschke was arrested in January on a child molestation charge in connection with the alleged assault of a seven-year-old girl at the tae kwon do studio he operates. In March, he was named in a three-count felony indictment accusing him of fondling a victim under the age of 16 (each count carries a maximum 15-year prison term). Dutschke, now free on bond, has previously been convicted of indecent exposure.
In 2007, Dutschke was the unsuccessful Republican candidate against Stephen Holland, the incumbent Democratic state representative from the Tupelo area. Holland’s wife Sadie is the judge to whom one of the ricin-tainted letters was sent.
During that state campaign, Dutschke produced a series of videos attacking Holland, including one spot (seen below) that accused his opponent of being a “friend” of the September 11 hijackers (whom, like other illegal aliens, would purportedly be provided free housing, education and health care by Holland and fellow liberals like Nancy Pelosi). The 1:06 video is titled “The Aliens are Coming!”
According to Dutschke’s biography, he has worked as a radio broadcaster, sold insurance, and launched a telecom company. He has listed himself as a member of the National Rifle Association and the conservative Federalist Society, and reported that he was the honorary Mississippi chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
As seen in a series of photos, Dutschke has come in contact with an assortment of Republican elected figures during the course of Mississippi campaigns. These officials include Wicker; U.S. Senator Thad Cochran; former Governor Haley Barbour; and former Senator Trent Lott. Dutschke is also seen in several photos with Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and GOP presidential candidate. In one shot, Huckabee is seen karate chopping a board held by Dutschke.