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US drops charges against ricin suspect

Paul Kevin Curtis.

Paul Kevin Curtis.

TUPELO — US prosecutors dropped charges yesterday against a Mississippi man accused of sending ricin-laced letters to President Barack Obama, a US senator and a state judge, according to court documents.

The surprise decision came hours after Paul Kevin Curtis was released from a Mississippi jail on bond.

Prosecutors said the “ongoing investigation has revealed new information,” but provided no additional details, according to the court order dismissing the charges.

Curtis told reporters he respected Obama. “I would never do anything to pose a threat to him or any other US official,” he said. “I love this country.”

He said he had no idea what ricin was. “I thought they said ‘rice,’ I told them I don’t eat rice,” he said.

Curtis, who is 45 and known in Mississippi as an Elvis impersonator, had been released from jail on bond earlier on Tuesday after a judge indefinitely postponed a court hearing on his detention. The case was later dismissed “without prejudice”, meaning the charges could be potentially reinstated if warranted. (Reuters)

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