crimes and misdemeanors

New Ricin Suspect Arrested [Updated]

J. Everett Dutschke.

Tae kwon do instructor, accused child molester, and all-around weirdo J. Everett Dutschke was taken into custody by U.S. marshals at his home in Tupelo, Mississippi this morning for sending ricin-laced letters to President Obama, Senator Roger Wicker, and Mississippi judge Sadie Holland.  The arrest caps off a bizarre investigation that initially led the police to another Mississippi man, almost equally weird Elvis impersonator Paul Kevin Curtis, a “longtime personal enemy” who Dutschke seems to have been trying to frame. (Curtis was released earlier this week after a search of his home produced no evidence tying him to the attempted poisonings.)

Dutschke denies that he had anything to do with the letters, and his lawyer, Lori Nail Basham, has said that he was “cooperating fully” with investigators, despite briefly slipping away from FBI surveillance on Thursday. In a Saturday text message to reporters, Basham wrote that “the authorities have confirmed Mr. Dutschke’s arrest. We have no comment at this time.” She also said that she did not yet know what the charges against her client are, though we’re sure they’ll include something about his role in the band Dusty and the Robodrum, the style of which is described as “Live-Loop Oriented Rock with tons of lasers.”

Update: In a joint statement, the U.S. attorney for the northern district of Mississippi and the head of the FBI’s Mississippi office announced that Dutschke has been charged with “developing and possessing” ricin and “attempting” to use it “as a weapon.” If convicted, Dutschke could face life in prison and a $250,000 fine. He’s set to appear in an Oxford, Mississippi court on Monday.