Suspect in Anamosa prison killings pleads not guilty

Published: Apr. 11, 2021 at 5:01 PM CDT
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ANAMOSA, Iowa (KCRG) - A suspect charged with two counts of 1st Degree Murder in the deaths of two staff members at Anamosa State Penitentiary has pleaded not guilty.

Michael Dutcher entered a written not guilty plea on Friday. His arraignment was set for Monday at 9:00 A.M.

Dutcher is also charged with 2nd Degree Kidnapping and Attempted Murder.

The public defender for Thomas Woodard, the other suspect in the attack at Anamosa, filed a motion on Friday to reschedule Woodard’s arraignment for Monday, April 26th at 9:00 A.M. A judge has not yet made a ruling on Woodard’s request. His arraignment is still scheduled for Monday at 9:00 A.M.

Nurse Lorena Schulte and Correctional Officer Robert McFarland were both killed during the attack. Another inmate was seriously injured during the assault and another prison staff member was reportedly taken hostage.

Disciplinary records show Dutcher had threatened to assault staff at another prison a year earlier by using a maintenance tool.

Both Dutcher and Woodard are currently at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison.

Thomas Woodard, left, 39, and Michael Dutcher, 28, right.
Thomas Woodard, left, 39, and Michael Dutcher, 28, right.(Courtesy: Iowa Department of Corrections)

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