116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
ANAMOSA — One of the inmates charged with bludgeoning an Anamosa prison officer and a registered nurse to death told a judge Friday he won’t waive his right to a speedy trial and also asked that his trial be moved out of Jones County.
During a hearing in Jones County District Court, Michael Dutcher, 28, confirmed his demand for speedy trial, and one of his lawyers said they would file the written demand Friday.
Dutcher was brought into the courtroom by two deputies and two K-9 officers with dogs, who remained in the courtroom for the hearing.
Johnson County Public Defender Quint Meyerdirk told 6th Judicial District Judge Fae Hoover he would file a change of venue motion after the hearing.
Jones County Attorney Kristofer Lyons said the state would not resist moving the trial out of Jones County.
Hoover said she would start the process to find a county that can accommodate the trial.
She noted Linn County District Court in Cedar Rapids has a trial opening Aug. 3, but that is just one option.
If Dutcher’s trial is moved to Linn County, it would almost immediately follow the trial for the other inmate charged in the killings, Thomas Allen Woodard, 39.
Woodard also demanded a speedy trial, which is scheduled to start June 22 in Linn County. He has a pretrial hearing Friday in Jones County District Court.
Both men have pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, second-degree kidnapping and attempted murder.
The two inmates are accused of killing correctional officer Robert McFarland, 46, of Ely, and nurse Lorena Schulte, 50, of Cedar Rapids, during what authorities said was a failed attempt to escape from the Anamosa State Penitentiary on March 23.
The inmates are accused of bludgeoning the two prison workers with hammers.
The attack started about 10 a.m. when Woodard and Dutcher went to the infirmary under the pretense of fixing something, Iowa DCI Special Agent in Charge Rick Rahn has previously said.
The men had access to hammers and a metal grinder because they had checked them out from the prison maintenance area. They were being supervised by McFarland.
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