The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

April 30, 2013

Lawyer: Former ricin suspect's home is unlivable

— OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Attorneys for a Mississippi man who was briefly charged with sending ricin-laced letters to the president and others are encouraged after speaking with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's office about repairing or replacing the man's house after an intensive search left it uninhabitable.

Christi McCoy, an attorney for Kevin Curtis, a 45-year-old Elvis impersonator, said Monday that she and another attorney had spoken with authorities about the process to go through to get their client's property repaired or replaced.

She said she was encouraged by their response to a letter she sent U.S. Attorney Felicia Adams demanding that Curtis be provided temporary housing and that the government repair his Corinth, Miss., home and possessions. She also wants the government to pay his legal bills.

"We feel like the letter was well-received and we'll be working with the FBI to get all his property returned and get his property repaired," she said Monday night.

McCoy contended that Curtis couldn't return home after investigators searched it but failed to find evidence of the deadly poison ricin.

"To be specific, Mr. Curtis' home is uninhabitable. I have seen a lot of post search residences but this one is quite disturbing. The agents removed art from the walls, broke the frames and tore the artwork. Mr. Curtis offered his keys but agents chose to break the lock. Mr. Curtis' garbage was scheduled to be picked up Thursday, the day after he was snatched from his life. A week later, the garbage remains in his home, along with millions of insects it attracted," the letter says.

Curtis was once charged in the mailing of poisoned letters to President Barack Obama, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and a Mississippi judge, but the charges were later dropped. The investigation shifted last week to another man who had a falling out with Curtis, and that suspect appeared in court Monday on a charge of making ricin.

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