Paul Kevin Curtis, 45, appeared in a federal courtroom Thursday in Oxford, Miss., wearing shackles and a Johnny Cash T-shirt. His handcuffs were taken off during the brief hearing, and he said little.
His attorney, Christi R. McCoy, says Curtis "maintains 100 percent that he did not do this." She says she knows him and his family and that it is hard for her to believe the charges against him.
McCoy says she has not yet decided whether to seek a hearing to determine if Curtis is mentally competent to stand trial.
The affidavit states that the FBI identified Curtis as a suspect based on clues in the tainted letters, which read:
No one wanted to listen to me before.
There are still 'Missing Pieces'
Maybe I have your attention now
Even if that means someone must die.
This must stop.
To see a wrong and not expose it,
Is to become a silent partner to its continuance
I am KC and I approve this message
The first letter was intercepted at a mail processing facility in Maryland on April 16, addressed to Sen. Wicker. U.S. Capitol Police inquired with Wicker's staff on constituents with the initials KC, and came across Curtis, who had previously sent multiple communications to Wicker's office signed, "this is Kevin Curtis and I approve this message." Curtis also made several references to 'Missing Pieces' on his Facebook page and in e-mails to U.S. Congressman Alan Nunnelee.
Identical letters addressed to President Obama and a Lee County, Mississippi Justice Court Judge were also intercepted; all three letters tested positive for the poison ricin and were postmarked from Memphis on April 8.
On April 12, Curtis posted a picture to his Facebook page with the quote "To see a wrong and not expose it, is to become a silent partner to its continuance." He also refers to himself as "KC".
The affidavit also notes that Curtis had been investigated by the Booneville Police Department several times since 2007, including an incident where his ex-wife reported Curtis was extremely delusional, anti-government, and believed government drones were spying on him.
If convicted, Curtis faces a maximum of 15 years in prison and $500,000 in fines.
Sen. Roger Wicker says he once hired Curtis as an Elvis impersonator for an engagement party.