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FBI: No ricin found in home of suspect

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By The Associated Press
Monday, April 22, 2013, 6:06 p.m.

OXFORD, Miss. — Investigators haven't found any ricin in the house of a Mississippi man accused of mailing poisoned letters to President Obama, a senator and a local judge, according to testimony on Monday from an FBI agent.

Agent Brandon Grant said that a search of Paul Kevin Curtis' vehicle and house in Corinth, Miss., on Friday did not turn up ricin, ingredients for the poison, or devices used to make it. A search of Curtis' computers has found no evidence that he researched making ricin.

Defense lawyers for Curtis said investigators' failure to find any ricin means the government should release their client. That lack of physical evidence will be big as a detention and preliminary hearing continues on Tuesday morning. U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Allan Alexander ended the hearing after lunch on Monday, citing a personal schedule conflict.

Through his lawyer, Curtis has denied involvement in letters sent to Obama, Mississippi Republican Sen. Roger Wicker and a Lee County, Miss., judge. The first of the letters was found April 15.

“There was no apparent ricin, castor beans or any material there that could be used for the manufacturing, like a blender or something,” Grant testified. He speculated that Curtis could have thrown away the processor. Grant said computer technicians are doing a “deep dive” on the suspect's computers.

Christi McCoy, who is leading the defense for Curtis, said the government doesn't have probable cause to hold her client and his history of problems related to bipolar disorder are not enough to keep him in jail.

“The searches are concluded. Not one single shred of evidence was found to indicate Kevin could have done this,” McCoy said.

“Now, surely they are satisfied that there is no immediate threat from Kevin Curtis.”

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