Anamosa inmate pleads not guilty

ASP warden reassigned
By: 
Staff report

     Michael Dutcher, one of two suspects charged with the 1st degree murder of two Anamosa State Penitentiary (ASP) employees, pleaded not guilty late last week. Dutcher is also charged with 2nd degree kidnapping and attempted murder.

     Dutcher’s arraignment was set for Monday, April 12.

     The other defendant, Thomas Woodard, filed a motion on Friday to reschedule his arraignment for April 26. The judge has yet to rule on the request. (Woodard’s initial arraignment was April 12 as well.)

     Woodward is also charged with two counts of 1st degree murder, 2nd degree kidnapping, and attempted murder.

     Registered Nurse Lorena Schulte and Correctional Officer Robert McFarland were killed on March 23 during an attack by the two defendants in the prison’s infirmary. Another staff member, Lori Matthes, was also injured. Inmate McKinley Roby was severely injured as well.

     Both Dutcher and Woodard are being held in Fort Dodge at the Iowa State Penitentiary.

     In additional ASP news, as of April 6, Warden Jeremy Larson was reassigned as interim warden of the Newton Correctional Facility. Warden Randy Gibbs was then assigned as the interim warden at the ASP. Gibbs comes to Anamosa from Fort Dodge.

     According to the Iowa DOC (Department of Corrections), the reassignments were “intended to provide reliable leadership at the respective facilities where leadership changes have occurred, and to allow for a thorough and impartial review of the tragedy that occurred in Anamosa.”

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