Man cleared in ricin letters case sues 2nd suspect - Mid-South News, Weather, Traffic and Sports | FOX13

Man cleared in ricin letters case sues 2nd suspect

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Jack Curtis, left, and his brother Paul Kevin Curtis (Tom Dees / FOX13 News) Jack Curtis, left, and his brother Paul Kevin Curtis (Tom Dees / FOX13 News)
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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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ALCORN COUNTY, Miss. (FOX13) -

Elvis impersonator Paul Kevin Curtis who was charged, then cleared of sending poison-laced letters to President Barack Obama and others has filed a defamation lawsuit against the current suspect in the case.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Alcorn County Circuit Court in Corinth. It says James Everett Dutschke framed Curtis when he sent ricin-tainted letters on April 8 to Obama, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and Lee County Justice Court Judge Sadie Holland in Tupelo.

READ: Defamation lawsuit against James Everett Dutschke

The defamation suit was filed in Corinth, Miss., Alcorn County's seat, because that's where Curtis lived at the time and that's where his home was. The lawsuit basically asks for relief for Curtis on a number of levels, including defamation, and emotional distress.

Curtis was arrested in Corinth on April 17, but the charges were dropped six days later.

Dutschke was arrested April 27 at his home in Tupelo.

Dutschke denies involvement. He awaits trial.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE RICIN LETTERS CASE

The lawsuit says Curtis, an entertainer and Elvis impersonator, was portrayed as a terrorist and lost income because he was "no longer marketable in his chosen field."

The lawsuit alleges that Dutschke willfully researched how to manufacture ricin. The feds say he produced it at his Tupelo Taekwondo studio.

Curtis' attorney Hal Neilson said Dutschke did it in order to frame his client as a terrorist. The lawsuit alleges that the letters were drafted in such a way as to point to Curtis as the perpetrator, including the phrase "I'm KC and I approve this message."

"Well, you have got Kevin Curtis who is marked as a terrorist in the U.S.," Neilson said. "I think you can go to any website, I mean if you pull up his name; I mean even Wikipedia has him down as a suspected terrorist."

The lawsuit also claims intentional infliction of emotional distress by Dutschke.

"As the plans and process are going along he is also planning and devising a scheme to escape capture and interjects our client Kevin Curtis, and uses his sign off to try to snow the public and law enforcement making them believe this is the guy," Neilson said. "That is the definition of diabolical."

The federal government is next on the list to be sued by Curtis, Neilson added. Curtis' brother, Jack, first hinted at that months ago in an exclusive interview with FOX13 News when charges were dropped against his brother.

"They will need to restore Kevin's name and Kevin's reputation and restore his character," Paul Curtis said April 23. "They need to restore the damage that has been done to his name, past, present, and future collateral damage that he will incur as a result of the media attention surrounding this wrongful arrest. Kevin has been hurt. Our family name has been hurt."

"Absolutely, you got a man who was falsely arrested, falsely imprisoned, and has his home destroyed by the government," Neilson said.

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Associated Press reporter Holbrook Mohr in Jackson, Miss., contributed to this report.
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