Dutschke case going to federal grand jury

Reported by: Robert Byers
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Updated: 5/02/2013 5:03 pm
TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - James Everett Dutschke's preliminary hearing was Thursday morning at the federal courthouse in Oxford.

An FBI special agent testified a search of Dutschke's Tupelo home and his former business for evidence in the case turned up several items that later tested positive for the poison ricin.

Ricin is the same substance sent in letters to the president and other elected officials.

FBI Agent Stephen Thomason testified that a dust mask found tested positive for the poison ricin.

Thomason also said lab results show a DNA sample on the mask belongs to Dutschke.

The agent also said in court that Dutschke had records showing where he had bought 50 castor beans two separate times and 100 at another time.

Those beans are what's used to make ricin.

When the FBI questioned Dutschke at his home, as former suspect Kevin Curtis was still being held in this case, FBI Agent Thomason said Dutschke became agitated.

He said Dutschke told him authorities needed to refocus on Kevin Curtis and not him.

Testimony also revealed a bad relationship between Curtis and Dutschke through emails.

The defense attorney worked to tear down what the FBI agent said, saying there was no certainty about the evidence presented against Dustchke and that authorities could not say how dangerous the substance in question was or if it was dangerous at all.

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