Man who sent ricin letters to Obama and others gets 25 year sentence

A man who pleaded guilty to sending letters dusted with the poison ricin to President Barack Obama and other officials was sentenced on Monday to 25 years in prison.

James Everett Dutschke was sentenced by judge Sharion Aycock after saying he had changed his mind about wanting to withdraw his guilty plea. He also was sentenced to five years of supervised release and remains in federal custody.

The 42-year-old Mississippi man told Aycock on 13 May that he wanted to withdraw a plea agreement he made with federal prosecutors in January. He told Aycock federal prosecutors lied when they said he made the poison and about finding his DNA on a dust mask.

Dutschke said he was guilty only of using castor beans to make a fertiliser that couldn’t hurt anyone.
He was accused of sending the letters to Obama, Republican US senator Roger Wicker and Mississippi judge Sadie Holland.

Poisoned letters addressed to Obama and Wicker were intercepted before delivery, but one letter reached Holland. She was not harmed.