A Mississippi man accused of mailing ricin to the White House asked on Tuesday if he could reverse his guilty plea in the case.
Everett Dutschke in January pleaded guilty to charges of sending ricin-filled letters to President Obama and other politicians in 2013. But in a surprising turn of events, the 41-year-old used what was supposed to have been a sentencing hearing on Tuesday to renounce his confession, the Clarion-Ledger newspaper reported.
Federal district Judge Sharion Aycock said Dutschke would have to enter a formal motion if he wanted to reverse his guilty plea. "Your filing the motion to withdraw does not necessarily mean the court will grant it," the judge said. "I do want you to understand that your withdrawal is in the discretion of the court."
After discussing his options with his attorney during a recess period, Dutschke returned to court only to blame the ricin mailings on an Elvis impersonator named Kevin Curtis that he allegedly had previously tried to frame for sending the letters. Dutschke compared himself to an Olympic gymnast and Curtis to Barney the Dinosaur.
He also offered to eat whatever was inside the letters he was charged with mailing to prove their contents were not poisonous.
This article was published in Global Security Newswire, which is produced independently by National Journal Group under contract with the Nuclear Threat Initiative. NTI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group working to reduce global threats from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.