Paul Kevin Curtis, 45, of Corinth, Miss., appeared in court Thursday to answer two charges on accusations of threatening President Barack Obama and U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker. If convicted, he could face up to 15 years in prison. An FBI affidavit says Curtis sent three letters with suspected ricin — a type of poison found naturally in castor beans — to Obama, Wicker and a Mississippi judge.
St. Clair County District Attorney Richard Minor said Curtis was arrested Oct. 31, 2009, in the city of Moody moments after he performed at Oktoberfest.
“Officials in Moody had apparently received information from Monroe, La., that Mr. Curtis was performing at this event in Moody,” Minor said. “Sgt. Thomas Hunt, who is now the police chief in Moody, escorted Curtis off the stage to the Moody Police Department, where he was told about his felony warrants out of Louisiana.
“He was charged with being a fugitive from justice, which is a felony. He was then transported to the St. Clair County Jail in Pell City.”
Hunt recalled making the arrest, saying authorities from Louisiana had advised him of the warrant that morning.
“He came right off stage and we took him into custody,” Hunt said.
Minor said Curtis was wanted out of Louisiana for cyberstalking.
“He was held for a period of time, and Louisiana called, and, in fact, said they were withdrawing their warrants,” Minor said. “He was released, and I do not know the outcome of the case. I’m thinking that after he was released, he went back to Louisiana to take care of whatever issues he had.”
At the time of his arrest in 2009, Curtis was 42. He listed his address as being from Booneville, Miss.
Curtis was arrested Sept. 12, 2012, by the Leeds Police Department for public intoxication.
Leeds Police Chief Byron Jackson confirmed the arrest Thursday afternoon.
“(Curtis) was found lying in the street without a shirt on,” Jackson said. “He apparently stated that he had been drinking with a friend on Cedar Springs Lane.
“(Leeds officers) decided he was a danger to himself so we arrested him. There were no other issues with the arrest at all.”
Jackson said he does not believe Curtis has any family in Leeds, and the arrest report notes his birthplace in Louisiana.
Curtis was arrested Wednesday at his home in Corinth, near the Tennessee state line, was being held in the Lafayette County jail in Oxford, Miss.
— Home staff writer Will Heath contributed to this report.