The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

April 18, 2013

Miss. man charged with threatening Obama, others

(Continued)

"I never heard a word from anyone. I even ran into Roger Wicker several different times while performing at special banquets and fundraisers in northeast, Mississippi but he seemed very nervous while speaking with me and would make a fast exit to the door when I engaged in conversation..."

Jim Waide, an attorney in Tupelo, Miss., said he was working with Curtis' family Thursday to put together a statement about the man. Waide said the family told him Curtis has been diagnosed as bipolar and was put on medication about three years ago. "It's been a real problem to keep him on his medication," Waide said in a phone interview from Tupelo.

"He has a long history of mental illness," Waide said. "When he is on his medication, he is terrific, he's nice, he's functional. When he's off his medication, that's when there's a problem."

Waide represented Curtis in a federal lawsuit he filed in August 2000 against North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. Curtis claimed employment discrimination. A judge dismissed the case in July 2001. Records show it was "dismissed for failure to prosecute."

Court records show Waide got a judge's permission to withdraw as Curtis' attorney in January 2001. Waide said he withdrew from the case because Curtis didn't trust him.

"He thought I was conspiring against him," Waide said. "He thinks everybody is out to get him."

The FBI said there was no indication of a connection between the letters and the Monday bombing in Boston that killed three people and injured more than 170. The letters to Obama and Wicker were postmarked April 8, before the marathon.

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