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Iowa Department of Corrections: Inmate kills 2 employees at Anamosa State Penitentiary; press conference scheduled for Wednesday afternoon

The Department of Corrections and Division of Criminal Investigation will hold a joint press briefing at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

ANAMOSA, Iowa — UPDATE:  Iowa officials have has released the identities of the nurse and correctional officer attacked and killed by an inmate at the Anamosa State Penitentiary Tuesday morning.

Registered nurse Lorena Schulte, 50, had worked at the facility since July 30, 2007. Correctional Officer Robert McFarland, 46, had worked at the facility since October 20, 2008.

According to Special Agent Richard Rahn with the DCI, the Jones County Dispatch Center received a call from the facility around 10:18 a.m. Tuesday with a report of three staff being injured. 

Once on scene, authorities found McFarland had received blunt-force trauma to the back of his head. They found Schulte in the facility with the same injury.

Another individual injured in the incident was McKinley Roby, who also suffered a blunt-force trauma injury to the back of his head. Roby, an inmate, is being treated at the University of Iowa for his injuries.

Roby attempted to help McFarland and Schulte during the attack and was injured while doing so, Rahn said.

"The investigation thus far has revealed this that the two individuals who are responsible for this heinous act: Thomas Woodard and Michael Dutcher," Rahn said. "They were attempting to escape the facility. And, essentially, Mr. McFarland and Ms. Schulte interceded there, attempted to stop the escape and subsequently received the injuries that they did." 

Dutcher, 28, was initially committed to Anamosa for two counts of first-degree robbery, second-degree robbery and ongoing criminal conduct. He was sentenced to 50 years. 

Dutcher started his sentence on May 14, 2015. His anticipated release date would have been April 18, 2057. 

Woodard, 39, was also initially committed to Anamosa for first-degree robbery as well as first-degree burglary. He was sentenced to 25 years. 

Woodward started his sentence on January 13, 2017. His anticipated release date would have been March 10, 2029.

The pair had two hammers and a grinder. 

Rahn said the inmates "were completely unsuccessful" in their attempt to escape. 

McFarland was in the breakroom when he was attacked, Rahn said. Schulte arrived shortly later where she was then attacked. Another staff member came in to assist her fellow employees before she was grabbed by Dutcher. 

The other employee said she was told she would be next if she didn't cooperate. She was held against her will and then released. 

Rahn said witnesses identified Woodard as the inmate who attacked and killed Schulte and McFarland. When Dutcher ran out of the breakroom, witnesses said he was covered in blood. 

Both Woodard and Dutcher have been charged with two counts of Murder in the First Degree, one count of Attempted Murder and one count of Kidnapping in the Second Degree each.

If convicted, they would serve a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.


A nurse and prison guard are dead after an assault at the Anamosa State Penitentiary.

According to the Iowa Department of Corrections, an inmate attacked multiple staff and fellow inmates inside the infirmary Tuesday morning around 10:15 a.m.

Security staff members were able to restrain the inmate. Staff tried to save the nurse and prison guard's lives until paramedics arrived. 

The incident remains under investigation by multiple agencies, including the Department of Corrections, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Iowa Department of Public Safety. 

An update from the DOC Tuesday night says DCI is leading the investigation into the incident. The DOC and DCI will hold a joint press conference Wednesday at 3 p.m. in front of the prison to provide further updates on the investigation.

Names are being withheld at this time pending family notifications and investigation. 

Tuesday's incident marked the fourth inmate assault at an Iowa prison since September and the ninth statewide.

About 350 Iowans work at the prison, while 950 inmates are housed at maximum-medium security prison.

From 1999-2008 there were 113 work-related fatalities among U.S. correctional officers, according to a report from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

"The prisons in the state of Iowa are grossly understaffed," AFSCME Council 61 President Danny Homan told Local 5. "Not only for correctional officers, but for nurses."

Gov. Kim Reynolds called the attack tragic and heinous. 

“My prayers and deepest condolences are with their families, friends and colleagues as they begin to cope with this senseless tragedy," Reynolds said. "We will exhaust every available resource to deliver justice to those who committed this act and bring a sense of closure and peace to the victims’ families.” 

Reynolds ordered flags be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on the day(s) of internment in honor and remembrance of the two individuals who were killed in the line of duty at the Anamosa State Penitentiary.

Local 5 will update this story as more information becomes available. Download the We Are Iowa app or subscribe to Local 5's "5 Things to Know" email newsletter for the latest.

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