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April 26, 2013

Man named in ricin case goes into hiding

(Continued)

SALTILLO, Miss. —

It was yet another strange turn in the case that began when charges were filed against 45-year-old entertainer Paul Kevin Curtis, whose lawyers now say he was set up for the crime.

Charges against Curtis were dropped Tuesday after authorities said they developed new information.

His attorney, Christi McCoy, has said she does not know what new information led the FBI to abandon the charges but that the agency acted in good faith and worked from the information it had at the time.

The focus then turned to Dutschke. He said he was cooperating.

“I don’t know how much more of this I can take,” Dutschke said Tuesday as investigators combed through his house. His business was searched the next day.

Curtis attorney Hal Neilson said the defense gave authorities a list of people who may have had a reason to hurt Curtis, and Dutschke’s name came up. He said prosecutors “took it and ran with it.”

Dutschke and Curtis were acquainted. Curtis said they had talked about possibly publishing a book on an alleged conspiracy to sell body parts on a black market. But he claimed they later had a feud.

Judge Holland is a common link between two men who have been investigated and both know Wicker.

Holland was presiding judge in a case in which Curtis was accused of assaulting a Tupelo attorney in 2004. Holland sentenced him to six months in the county jail. He served only part of the sentence, according to his brother.

Holland’s family has had political skirmishes with Dutschke in the past.

Steve Holland, a state representative, said he believes his mother’s only other encounter with Dutschke was at a rally in the town of Verona in 2007, when Dutschke ran as a Republican against Steve Holland.

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