Officials release details in Anamosa murders


ANAMOSA – State officials released the names and images of the two Anamosa State Penitentiary inmates who are accused of killing a nurse and correctional officer at the facility Tuesday morning.

Iowa Department of Corrections officials identified Thomas Woodard and Michael Dutcher as the inmates who bludgeoned nurse Lorena Schulte and correctional officer Robert McFarland with hammers at about 10:18 a.m. Tuesday.

Officials also released the criminal complaint against the two accusing each with two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and one count of kidnapping. Early reports Tuesday indicated the attack was by just one inmate.

A third victim, inmate McKinley Roby was found in the same room as the Schulte and McFarland with multiple injuries to his head. Roby was transported to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics where he was treated. Roby is expected to survive his injuries.

The incident allegedly occurred on the ground floor of the facility in a break room in the health services lobby. The building is on the northeast side of the penitentiary grounds.

Officials said Wednesday the incident was part of an escape attempt planned by both individuals. Working together the two shattered a glass window of the break room, exposing metal bars that were cut with a grinder that was found at the scene.

The two hammers were obtained by other unknown personnel from the maintenance shop in an adjacent building.

According to the criminal complaint a third victim, Lori Mathis was in an adjacent room and walked across the hall after hearing the commotion and was grabbed by Dutcher with Woodward still in the room. Mathis was told she “would be next if she didn’t cooperate”. She was eventually released and Dutcher would run from the room.

Dutcher, covered in blood, was apprehended by officers while running into an adjacent yard in the facility. Officers found Woodard laying in the breakroom with the two staffers. No reason was listed as to why Woodard was laying on the floor.

An employee on the floor above also heard the commotion and went to the break room where she discovered the victims laying on the floor and alerted staff of a possible escape attempt.

Interviews with the inmates and staff turned up evidence supporting the charges against the two men.

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