116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
ANAMOSA — The trial for one of the inmates charged with killing an Anamosa prison officer and a registered nurse has been moved to Linn County District Court and is set to begin June 22.
Thomas Allen Woodard, 39, demanded a speedy trial and earlier this month the defense and prosecution agreed to move the trial from Jones to Linn County, according to 6th Judicial District Judge Fae Hoover’s order.
No trial date has been set for Michael Dutcher, 28, but he also may demand speedy trial, according to court documents.
Both men have pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, second-degree kidnapping and attempted murder.
Dutcher, in a letter to the court regarding demand for a speedy trial, said he wouldn’t permit defense lawyers to waive speedy trial on his behalf. He wanted to be the one to do so and asked that the hearing be in-person.
Sarah Hradek, one of his lawyers, told the court about his request and asked Hoover to have an in-person hearing so she could inquire about his position on his speedy trial right.
A hearing hasn’t been set at this time, but there is a case management status hearing set for Friday. It was initially scheduled for a video hearing, unless Hoover changes it.
Woodard has a pretrial hearing June 18 in Jones County District Court.
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 March 23 from the Anamosa State Penitentiary. The inmates bludgeoned the two employees with hammers.
The attack started about 10 a.m. March 23 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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