Inmate charged in Anamosa prison deaths had threatened before

Iowa News

This photo provided by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation shows Michael Dutcher. Inmates Dutcher and Thomas Woodard used hammers to attack prison staff members during a failed attempt to escape an Iowa prison, killing a nurse and correctional officer, kidnapping a third employee and severely injuring an inmate who intervened, authorities said Wednesday, March 24, 2021. (Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation via AP)

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa inmate charged with fatally beating two prison employees with a hammer had threatened to assault staff at another prison a year earlier using a different maintenance tool.

Disciplinary records show Michael Dutcher testified that he picked up a mop wringer and threatened to use it as a weapon to attack correctional officers at the state prison in Oakdale.

Dutcher’s threat came during an outburst in which a judge said he engaged in “very dangerous actions” that included charging into several officers on a stairway.

Dutcher and inmate Thomas Woodard are charged with murder in the March 23 slayings of Anamosa State Penitentiary nurse Lorena Schulte and correctional officer Robert McFarland, during a failed escape attempt.

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