Judge delays sentencing for ricin-letter suspect - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Judge delays sentencing for ricin-letter suspect

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The judge told Dutschke to talk with his lawyer about whether to withdraw his guilty plea. The judge told Dutschke to talk with his lawyer about whether to withdraw his guilty plea.
ABERDEEN, MS -

(WMC) - A judge delayed the sentencing for the Tupelo, Miss. man who pleaded guilty to sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama.

James Everett Dutschke entered a guilty plea as part of a plea agreement in January. He was scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday.

Instead, he maintained his innocence in court. According to Associated Press, Dutschke argued that he committed no crime, that the substance involved was not toxic, and that FBI agents and federal prosecutors committed perjury.

The judge told Dutschke to talk with his lawyer about whether to withdraw his guilty plea.

The ricin-laced letters Dutschke reportedly sent out in April 2013 went to President Barack Obama, Senator Roger Wicker, and Mississippi judge Sadie Holland.

Court documents say he sent the letters in an attempt to retaliate and frame another man.

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

A Federal Bureau of Investigation affidavit, made public following Dutschke's arrest, revealed that he bought castor beans on the Internet from vendors on eBay and PayPal in order to make the poison.

Dutschke's attorney said testimony about the toxicity of the ingredients could have sent his client to jail for life, which is why they decided to take the plea agreement.

In court on Tuesday, Dutschke said it was the first chance he has had to explain his side of the story.

A judge will need to approve Dutschke's plea withdrawal.

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