Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Elvis has left the cellblock

Spider Murphy's still playin' the tenor saxophone, and Little Joe's still blowin' on the slide trombone. 

Except now, the jailhouse is rockin' to an instrumental.

Elvis has left maximum security. Rather, a reasonable facsimile of the king of rock 'n' roll has been sprung from the Lafayette County Jail in Mississippi.

The lawyer for Paul Kevin Curtis says he was caught in a trap -- framed amid a slew of suspicious minds. But now he can walk out after the feds dropped charges against him, because there's no proof Curtis gave any poison-pen letters to the postman, or that he put them in his sack, says Reuters:

Prosecutors dropped charges on Tuesday against a Mississippi man accused of sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama, a senator and a state judge, according to court documents.

The surprise decision came hours after Paul Kevin Curtis was released from a Mississippi jail on bond.
Prosecutors said the "ongoing investigation has revealed new information," but provided no additional details, according to the court order dismissing the charges.

Curtis told reporters he respected Obama. "I would never do anything to pose a threat to him or any other U.S. official," he said. "I love this country."

He said he had no idea what ricin was. "I thought they said 'rice,' I told them I don't eat rice," he said.

Curtis, who is 45 and known in Mississippi as an Elvis impersonator, had been released from jail on bond earlier on Tuesday after a judge indefinitely postponed a court hearing on his detention. The case was later dismissed "without prejudice," meaning the charges could be potentially reinstated if warranted.

Later on Tuesday federal law enforcement officials searched the house of a second Mississippi man, Everett Dutschke, Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson told Reuters.

It was not clear if the search was related to the ricin case.

A representative for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Oxford, Mississippi, did not return calls for comment.

Dutschke is "cooperating fully" with the FBI, his attorney Lori Nail Basham told the Northeastern Mississippi Daily Journal. Dutschke has not been charged in the ricin case, she said.

Christi McCoy, Curtis's attorney, told CNN she believed her client had been framed.

"I do believe that someone who was familiar and is familiar with Kevin just simply took his personal information and did this to him," McCoy told CNN. "It is absolutely horrific that someone would do this."

Curtis was arrested on April 17 at his home in Corinth, Mississippi. He was charged with mailing letters to Obama, Republican U.S. Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi and Sadie Holland containing a substance that preliminarily tested positive for ricin, a highly lethal poison made from castor beans.
BACK at the jailhouse, Nos. 47 and 3 couldn't be reached for comment on the Man Who Would Be the King's sudden release. According to fellow inmates Shifty Henry and Bugs, they were otherwise occupied.

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