Attorney: Miss. man denies mailing suspected ricin

A U.S. Capitol Police hazmat vehicle is parked at a mail processing plant in Prince George's County where a letter addressed to Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., tested positive for ricin, Tuesday, April 16, 2013, in Hyattsville, Md. An envelope addressed Wicker tested positive Tuesday for ricin, a potentially fatal poison, congressional officials said, heightening concerns about terrorism a day after a bombing killed three and left more than 170 injured at the Boston Marathon. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)
A U.S. Capitol Police hazmat vehicle is parked at a mail processing plant in Prince George's County where a letter addressed to Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., tested positive for ricin, Tuesday, April 16, 2013, in Hyattsville, Md. An envelope addressed Wicker tested positive Tuesday for ricin, a potentially fatal poison, congressional officials said, heightening concerns about terrorism a day after a bombing killed three and left more than 170 injured at the Boston Marathon. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) – The man charged with mailing letters with suspected ricin to the president and others was surprised by his arrest and maintains he is innocent, according to his attorney.

Paul Kevin Curtis 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.

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