Ricin Letters Update: Dutschke Trial Date Set

The trial for James Dutschke, the Tupelo man accused of sending Ricin laced letters to Senator Wicker, a local judge Sadie Holland and President Obama, has had his trial date set for July 29th, 2013. The trial will be held in Aberdeen with Judge Aycock presiding.

Djournal has more:

ABERDEEN – A federal judge set a July 29 trial start for the Tupelo man accused of mailing poison-laden letters to President Obama, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and Lee County Justice Court Judge Sadie Holland.

Dutschke’s attorney, federal public defenders George Lucas, also invites prosecutors to discuss a plea deal for the former martial arts instructor, who insists he is innocent of the charges.

Defense attorneys typically seek a deal for lesser charges against their clients in exchange for a guilty plea to avoid going to trial.

In his June 10 letter to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Lucas tells the government attorneys, though, that he “cannot ethically” advise Dutschke to waive his right to appeal a possible sentence or conviction, which is fairly standard in Northern District deals.

He asks them to omit any such language from any plea proposal. “I do not believe a defendant can knowingly waive the right to challenge a sentence imposed illegally or in violation of law,” Lucas writes in a five-page letter requesting what’s called “discovery,” which is information unfavorable or favorable gathered thus far by investigators and about witnesses and grand jury testimony in the case.

No updates in the Texas Ricin Case involving actress Shannon Guess.

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
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