Mississippi man admits he sent ricin letter to Obama
Everett Dutschke admitted to four counts in all during his hearing in the U.S. District Court in Oxford, Miss. The charges could carry a decades-long prison sentence. The letters Dutschke sent were allegedly part of a plot to incriminate a longtime adversary, the Associated Press reports.
"I am voluntarily entering this plea, and I understand fully in doing so that I am accepting responsibility for everything that he mentioned," Dutschke said, according to the Associated Press.
Dutschke was jailed in April on charges of sending ricin-tainted letters to Obama, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and a Mississippi judge. The judge was the only person out of the three to receive a letter, though she was not harmed by the contents of the message. The letters to Wicker and Obama were intercepted before they could be opened.
Authorities first charged Paul Kevin Curtis, an Elvis impersonator, for sending the letters. The charges were later dropped when the investigation shifted to Dutschke. Curtis said he and Dutschke have feuded for years.
Under the terms of a plea agreement, Dutschke would serve 25 years in prison. A sentencing date was not set during the hearing on Friday, the Associated Press reports.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ricin is a toxin found naturally in castor beans. Ricin can be refined into a terrorist warfare agent and was used in the 1978 assassination of Georgi Markov, a Bulgarian writer and journalist.