Inmate charged in Iowa prison deaths had threatened before

Prison cell
Posted at 4:49 PM, Apr 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-09 17:49:50-04

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.