Sentencing in Mississippi poison-letters case

Associated Press

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Marines wearing protective gear enter the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2004, to retrieve mail to be decontamined. All Capitol mail will be decontaminated after the poison ricin was found in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. The Russell building was scheduled to reopen Thursday. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)

ABERDEEN, Miss. (AP) — A federal judge has temporarily delayed sentencing for a Mississippi man who pleaded guilty to making ricin and sending letters laced with the poison to President Barack Obama and other officials.

James Everett Dutschke (DUHS'-kee) pleaded guilty in January to sending the tainted letters to Obama as well as Republican U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and Mississippi judge Sadie Holland. He was to be sentenced Tuesday in Aberdeen, Mississippi.

At the sentencing, Dutschke spoke for 30 minutes in the courtroom, arguing he had committed no crime and that the substance involved never could have been toxic and that FBI agents and federal prosecutors committed perjury.

Afterward, U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock told Dutschke to talk with his lawyer about whether to withdraw the guilty plea.

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