In brief: FBI says mask has ricin, suspect’s DNA
Oxford, Miss. – A dust mask that tested positive for ricin also contained DNA from a Mississippi man suspected of sending poison-laced letters to President Barack Obama and others, an FBI agent testified Thursday.
The testimony came during a preliminary hearing for James Everett Dutschke, 41, who was arrested Saturday at his home in Tupelo and charged with making ricin, the same substance mailed on April 8 to Obama, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and Lee County, Miss., Judge Sadie Holland.
Magistrate Judge S. Allan Alexander ruled that there was enough probable cause to send the case to a grand jury. It’s not clear when one would hear evidence in this case.
Dutschke’s lawyer, George Lucas, waived a detention hearing, but reserved the right to ask for one later. That means Dutschke will remain behind bars for now.
Dutschke faces up to life in prison if convicted in the ricin case. He’s also facing unrelated charges of child molestation.
Soccer ref in coma after player’s punch
Murray, Utah – A longtime Utah soccer referee is in a coma after being punched by a teenage player unhappy with one of his calls.
Ricardo Portillo, 46, has swelling in his brain and his recovery is uncertain as he remains in critical condition, Dr. Shawn Smith said Thursday at the Intermountain Medical Center in the Salt Lake City suburb of Murray.
Police say a 17-year-old player in a recreational soccer league punched Portillo after the official called a foul on him and issued him a yellow card.
The teen has been booked into juvenile detention on suspicion of aggravated assault. Those charges could be amplified if Portillo dies.