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Ricin suspect hired by senator as Elvis impersonator

April 18, 2013|By Michael A. Memoli
  • This undated photo shows Paul Kevin Curtis, who is accused of mailing letters with suspected ricin to to national leaders.
This undated photo shows Paul Kevin Curtis, who is accused of mailing letters… (Associated Press )

WASHINGTON -- A U.S. senator who was the intended recipient of a letter apparently laced with ricin said he had hired the suspected sender, an Elvis impersonator, to play at a wedding a decade ago.

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), a quiet two-term senator who was trailed by security in the Capitol on Thursday, said he had hired Paul Kevin Curtis and "he was quite entertaining."

"I have indeed met the gentleman in question," Wicker told reporters.

"He's an entertainer. He's an Elvis impersonator. He entertained at a party that my wife and I held for a young couple that was getting married," the senator said.

"My impression is that since that time he's had mental issues. He's not as stable as he was back then."

Wicker said he and his wife "kicked in our share" to partially cover the entertainment costs for the newlyweds.

The senator declined to discuss earlier reports that the suspect, who also sent a letter with ricin to President Obama, had corresponded frequently. But he added "I wouldn't say they're inaccurate."

The suspect was arrested late Wednesday in Corinth. 

"I should probably ought to just keep my trap shut," Wicker said.

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Michael.Memoli@latimes.com

Twitter: @mikememoli

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