Second Inmate Accused Of Anamosa Prison Killings Slated To Plead Guilty
The second inmate accused of killing two staffers at the Anamosa State Penitentiary last March is expected to plead guilty to all four charges against him this week. Michael Dutcher had been slated to have a bench trial next week, but court filings indicate he now intends to plead guilty.
Prosecutors say Dutcher and his co-defendant Thomas Woodard killed Nurse Lorena Schulte and Correctional Officer Robert McFarland during a failed escape attempt from the sprawling stone prison on March 23.
Dutcher and Woodard faced two charges each of first degree murder, one charge each of second degree kidnapping and one charge each of attempted murder.
Investigators say the men used prison-issued tools as weapons, beating Schulte and McFarland repeatedly with hammers. Both died at the scene, leaving behind loving families and devoted colleagues.
A third prison staffer, Lorie Matthes, was kidnapped during the attack. Inmate McKinley Roby suffered serious head trauma when he intervened and attempted to render aid to the victims.
Dutcher’s plea hearing and sentencing are scheduled for Sept. 15 at 9 a.m. at the Jones County Courthouse in Anamosa.