The man charged with sending poisoned letters to U.S. President Barack Obama, a U.S. senator, and a state court judge made his first court appearance Monday.
Everett Dutschke is facing a charge he used a biological weapon - ricin - in the letters. In a brief hearing, he told a judge he understood the charges against him and she ordered him held without bail pending a further hearing on Thursday. Dutschke faces life in prison if he is convicted.
Ricin can be deadly to humans if inhaled, ingested or injected.
When he was arrested last week, Dutschke, a Mississippi resident, denied any knowledge about ricin.
''I would not recognize ricin if I saw it, " he told reporters.
U.S. authorities originally arrested another man in the case but dropped charges against him last week after finding no evidence that he was involved.