Officials ID inmates accused of killing staff at Anamosa State Penitentiary

Iowa News

ANAMOSA, Iowa (KCAU) – Iowa officials identified the suspects and victims of the Anamosa State Penitentiary fatal attack that happened Tuesday morning.

According to officials, Michael Dutcher, 28, and Thomas Woodard, 39, were identified as the inmates responsible for the assault that killed two staff members and injured another inmate.

On Tuesday morning around 10:18 a.m., authorities were dispatched to the Anamosa State Penitentiary after inmates attacked two staff members and another inmate in the Anamosa State after Dutcher and Woodard tried to escape. Authorities said inmates Dutcher and Woodward attempted to cut through bars on a window in a breakroom using a metal grinder when staff stopped them.

Officials identified the victims of the assault as nurse Lorena Schulte, 50, who served the penitentiary since 2007, and correctional officer Robert McFarland, 46, who served the penitentiary since 2008. The inmate injured during the assault was identified as McKinley Roby.

All three received blunt force trauma to the back of the head, but Schulte and McFarland died from their injuries. Roby was transported to the University of Iowa Hospital where he remains currently. Authorities said that hammers were believed to have been used to inflict injuries on the victims. Dutcher and Woodard were able to check out the tools used in the attack and attempted escape from a prison tool shop.

Further investigation revealed that prison employee Lori Mathis was located in an adjacent
room in the unit where the assault happened. She walked across the hall and into the breakroom where she was grabbed by Dutcher with Woodard present. Mathis was told that she would be next if she did not cooperate. Mathis was held against her will for a period of time before she was released and Dutcher ran out of the break room.

Dutcher and Woodard were both charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder, and one count of second-degree kidnapping for their role in the assault. If convicted, first-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Dutcher was currently serving a 50-year sentence with a tentative release date of April 2057 and Woodard was serving a 25-year sentence with a tentative release date of March 2029.

Due to the incident, the penitentiary is currently on lockdown.

Iowa DOC said the Division of Criminal Investigations is leading the investigation into the events that took place in the attack that led to the death of the two corrections staff members.

The Iowa Department of Corrections and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations held a news briefing on Wednesday in front of the Anamosa State Penitentiary at 3 p.m.

The affidavit can be viewed here.

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