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Ricin suspect's lawyer says feds have little evidence

The lawyer for Paul Kevin Curtis, the Mississippi man accused of mailing ricin-laced letters to the president and a senator, says the government cannot prove he had ricin in his possession. 

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Federal agents wearing hazardous material suits inspect a trash can outside the house of Paul Kevin Curtis in Corinth, Miss. on Friday. Curtis is in custody under the suspicion of sending letters covered in ricin to President Barack Obama and Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss.

Rogelio V. Solis/AP/File

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Federal authorities have produced scant evidence linking a Mississippi man to the mailing of ricin-laced letters to the president and a senator, his attorney says.

Christi McCoy said after a court hearing Friday that the government has offered no evidence to prove her client, Paul Kevin Curtis, had possession of any ricin or the seed from which it is extracted — castor beans. An FBI agent testified during the hearing that he could not say if investigators had found ricin at Curtis' home, and McCoy said the evidence linking the 45-year-old to the crime so far has hinged on his writings posted online.

He is adamant that he did not do this, and she said she has seen nothing to prove him wrong.

Curtis was ushered into the courtroom before the hearing began in an orange jail jumpsuit and shackles. He turned to face his daughter in the audience before the hearing and whispered, "I didn't do it."

Prosecutors had wanted to delay the hearing because searches of Curtis home and car had not been completed and DNA and other tests are pending.

Curtis' brother Jack Curtis and 20-year-old daughter Madison Curtis watched the court proceeding and said afterward they are not convinced he did what he is accused of, even though they tried to keep an open mind about what would be presented.

"After hearing what I heard in this courtroom, it appears to me that the reason I haven't been provided any evidence is there appears to be none that would link my brother directly to the charges that have been made," Jack Curtis said after the hearing.

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