Meridian Star

New Today

January 22, 2014

Man in ricin-letter case pleads guilty to fondling

BRANDON — BRANDON, Miss. (AP) — The man who pleaded guilty last week to federal charges of sending poison-laced letters to President Barack Obama and other officials pleaded guilty Tuesday to unrelated fondling charges in state court in Mississippi.

James Everett Dutschke pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court in Oxford, Miss., to federal charges of sending ricin-laced letters to Obama, Republican U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and a Mississippi judge.

Prosecutors said he was trying to frame a longtime enemy and Elvis impersonator who was briefly jailed in the case.

His lawyer in the fondling case, Lori Nail Basham, told The Associated Press that Dutschke pleaded guilty Tuesday to three fondling charges in Lee County, Miss., Circuit Court.

In the ricin case, the plea agreement calls for Dutschke to be sentenced to 25 years. In the fondling case, prosecutors recommended he serve 20 years. Prosecutors in each recommended the sentences be served at the same time.

In state court, Dutschke was indicted on three separate charges of inappropriately touching students at his martial arts studio in Tupelo, Basham said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

"He is glad that this matter is finally concluded for he and his family," Basham said.

Assistant District Attorney Sadie Gardner said the fondling occurred between 2007 and 2013. She said prosecutors were pleased with the deal because the victims didn't have to testify and Dutschke will serve a long sentence and will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

"We feel like justice has been served," she said.

Before pleading guilty in the federal ricin case last week, Dutschke had denied sending the letters. He also denied a later charge that, while incarcerated, he tried to recruit someone else to send a ricin-tainted letter.

Prosecutors said he tried to frame Elvis impersonator Paul Kevin Curtis, who was initially charged in the investigation. Charges against Curtis were later dropped.

Text Only
New Today
Biz Marquee
New Today
Poll

Do you think the city of Meridian should contribute to a $600,000 matching grant Lauderdale County has applied for to fund a new building that could house a satellite Boys and Girls Club building?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide