Man pleads guilty to sending ricin letters to Obama - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Man pleads guilty to sending ricin letters to Obama

James Everett Dutschke, 41, entered his plea at a hearing in Oxford. As part of the plea agreement, he will serve a 25 year prison sentence. James Everett Dutschke, 41, entered his plea at a hearing in Oxford. As part of the plea agreement, he will serve a 25 year prison sentence.
Investigators found traces of ricin when they searched Dutschke's trash, as well as inside his Taekwondo studio. Investigators found traces of ricin when they searched Dutschke's trash, as well as inside his Taekwondo studio.

(WMC-TV) - The Tupelo, Miss. man accused of sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama pleaded guilty in federal court Friday.

James Everett Dutschke, 41, entered his plea at a hearing in Oxford. As part of the plea agreement, he will serve a 25 year prison sentence.

Specifically, Dutschke pleaded guilty to developing and possessing the biological agent, ricin, and then mailing the ricin-laced, threatening letters to President Barack Obama, U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, and a Tupelo, Miss. judge.

But despite his plea, he still addressed members of the media in the courtroom Friday and said, "I'm still not guilty."

If the judge accepts his plea, Dutschke will go to jail for 25 years. The judge is expected to sentence him in approximately 60 days.

The letter reportedly went out in April 2013 in an attempt to retaliate and frame another man, according to court documents.

Investigators found traces of ricin when they searched Dutschke's trash, as well as inside his Taekwondo studio.

In a Federal Bureau of Investigation affidavit made public following the arrest, it was revealed that Dutschke bought castor beans on the Internet from vendors on eBay and PayPal in order to make the poison.

Dutschke's attorney said testimony about how toxic the ingredients were could have sent his client to jail for life, which is why they decided to plead out.

"Depending on whose experts you believe and whether the substance was toxic or not, it's the difference in a life sentence and a sentence that would have been less than 25 years, so this was right in the middle," said Defense Attorney Kenneth Coughlin.

The ricin letter arrest was not Dutschke's first brush with the law. He was also arrested after being accused of exposing himself to young girls in his neighborhood.

"I'm very eager to clear my name," James Everett Dutschke said in January 2013. "This small mole hill has been blown way out of proportion."

He was convicted in February 2013 of indecent exposure and sentenced to 90 days behind bars.

Copyright 2014 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

  • East Texas NewsMore>>

  • Community rallies behind newborn after overcoming obstacles left behind by Hurricane Harvey

    Community rallies behind newborn after overcoming obstacles left behind by Hurricane Harvey

    Sunday, September 24 2017 7:23 PM EDT2017-09-24 23:23:50 GMT
    (Source: Crystal Sepulvado)(Source: Crystal Sepulvado)

    When Crystal and Shane Sepulvado learned they were pregnant with their third child, they were ecstatic. But immediately Crystal knew something was not right, as relied on her experience working at an OB-GYN office. "When we looked at the ultrasound, we has seen fluid around her heart," Crystal said. Doctors later explained to the couple that their unborn child had a hole between her ventricles. With an early pregnancy, the couple was rushed to Houston,...

    More >>

    When Crystal and Shane Sepulvado learned they were pregnant with their third child, they were ecstatic. But immediately Crystal knew something was not right, as relied on her experience working at an OB-GYN office. "When we looked at the ultrasound, we has seen fluid around her heart," Crystal said. Doctors later explained to the couple that their unborn child had a hole between her ventricles. With an early pregnancy, the couple was rushed to Houston,...

    More >>
  • Defense questions investigator in third day of Henderson trial

    Defense questions investigator in third day of Henderson trial

    Friday, September 22 2017 7:19 PM EDT2017-09-22 23:19:49 GMT
    James Henderson's defense attorney, Stanley Sokolowski, started off the third day of court by questioning the state's witness, Investigator Bill Rulland. The cross examination lasted most of the morning and even a little into the afternoon. According to Investigator Michael Molnes, with the Houston County Sheriff's Office, Sokolowski attempted to discredit Brenna Theuer's witness testimony, as well as testimony from Robert Mobley.  The trial is expected to head into closing arg...More >>
    James Henderson's defense attorney, Stanley Sokolowski, started off the third day of court by questioning the state's witness, Investigator Bill Rulland. The cross examination lasted most of the morning and even a little into the afternoon. According to Investigator Michael Molnes, with the Houston County Sheriff's Office, Sokolowski attempted to discredit Brenna Theuer's witness testimony, as well as testimony from Robert Mobley.  The trial is expected to head into closing arg...More >>
  • Tar-covered tires stick to parking lot of Lufkin tire shop

    Tar-covered tires stick to parking lot of Lufkin tire shop

    Friday, September 22 2017 7:09 PM EDT2017-09-22 23:09:01 GMT
    More than a few tar-covered tires are hanging on to the parking lot of a Lufkin tire shop.  On August 31, newly laid asphalt on Loop 287 started sticking to tires of those driving, leaving many of the cars un-driveable. As of Friday, the Texas Department of Transportation hadn't come out with an official cause for the incident, but that hasn't stopped over 600 people from filing claims with them. Copyright 2017 KTRE. All rights reserved.More >>
    More than a few tar-covered tires are hanging on to the parking lot of a Lufkin tire shop.  On August 31, newly laid asphalt on Loop 287 started sticking to tires of those driving, leaving many of the cars un-driveable. As of Friday, the Texas Department of Transportation hadn't come out with an official cause for the incident, but that hasn't stopped over 600 people from filing claims with them. Copyright 2017 KTRE. All rights reserved.More >>
Powered by Frankly