OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA) — The preliminary hearing for ricin letter suspect Paul Kevin Curtis concluded its second day Monday at the federal courthouse in Oxford with the defendant making a statement after the proceeding.
Curtis told a courtroom of reporters and attorneys that he’s done — no more computers, no more Facebook, no more activism.
During the hearing, FBI Special Agent Brandon Grant told the court that U.S. Postal Service officials had traced the tainted envelopes as originating from Tupelo.
In addition, email correspondence between Paul Kevin Curtis and a pastor in Tupelo indicated a possible threat, according to the prosecution.
The email itself was a forward of a 2003 email Curtis sent asking to speak to the congregation and give his story. He was never contacted, so six years later, he sent a reply saying nobody ever did. And he included an attachment, a news article from Illinois about a pastor there being murdered.
Whether that means Curtis has violent tendencies, the prosecution said, should be left for a grand jury to decide.
“There continues to be more and more evidence, or lack of evidence, that’s being fleshed out,” said defense attorney Christi McCoy.
McCoy said there are still too many loopholes.
“The big part that we took from the testimony is that thorough and complete searches were done of Mr. Curtis’s residence, his former wife’s residence, as well as his vehicle — the vehicle he was driving at the time of the stop — and there was nothing found on anything that linked him to these crimes,” added McCoy.
In addition, Grant testified that agents didn’t find anything having to do with ricin on Curtis’s computer as well, but they’re now conducting deeper testing.
“This is not your typical case. And we’re here after that to determine whether a bond should be set or whether he should be detained,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Chad Lamar.
Grant said the ricin found in the envelopes looked like it had been made from crudely chopping castor beans in a food processor or blender.
He also noted that none of those appliances were found during searches of Curtis’s Corinth home.
Meanwhile, McCoy suggested in court that the lack of evidence against her client shows anybody -- even James Everette Dutschke of Tupelo -- could have been responsible for sending the letters.
Prosecutors said there had been a correspondence between the two.
Dutschke, who was recently indicted on state charges of child molestation, denied he had any involvement with the poisoned letters.
He issued a statement to WTVA Monday evening after being contacted by several news agencies.
"The reporting of her reckless and desperate finger pointing has immediately put my family at great danger and great risk," Dutschke said.
The preliminary hearing is scheduled to resume Tuesday at 9 a.m.