Miss. Man Charged With Threatening President Obama, Others - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Miss. Man Charged With Threatening President Obama, Others

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The Mississippi man accused of mailing letters with suspected ricin has been charged with threatening President Barack Obama and others.

The U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release Thursday that 45-year-old Paul Kevin Curtis faced two federal charges accusing him of threatening the president and others.

Curtis appeared in a federal courtroom in Oxford, Miss., wearing shackles and a Johnny Cash T-shirt. His handcuffs were taken off during the brief hearing, and he said little.

His attorney, Chrisi R. McCoy, says Curtis "maintains 100 percent that he did not do this." She says she knows him and his family and that it is hard for her to believe the charges against him.

McCoy says she has not yet decided whether to seek a hearing to determine if Curtis is mentally competent to stand trial.

If convicted, he could face up to 15 years in prison.

An affidavit says the letters sent to Obama, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and a judge in Mississippi told the recipients: "Maybe I have your attention now even if that means someone must die."

Sen. Wicker says he once hired the man accused of mailing suspicious letters as an Elvis impersonator.

The Mississippi Republican said he hired Tupelo resident Paul Kevin Curtis to entertain at an engagement party. The 45-year-old Curtis faces charges stemming from sending threatening letters containing suspected ricin, a poison, to President Barack Obama, Wicker and a Mississippi judge.

Meanwhile, Michigan Sen. Carl Levin says preliminary testing on a suspicious letter to his Saginaw office was negative.

Levin says the FBI advised him about the test results. The Michigan Department of Community Health, Micro-Biology Laboratory conducted the test on a letter discovered Wednesday.

The FBI said Wednesday that a man in Mississippi was arrested and accused of sending letters containing suspected ricin poison to President Barack Obama and other political leaders.

Levin said Thursday his Saginaw office has been reopened. (AP)

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