Inmate charged in Iowa prison murders waives right to jury trial

Photo: Iowa Department of Corrections

(Jones County, IA) -- One of two inmates charged with murder in the deaths two Iowa prison workers is waiving his right to a jury trial.

Michael Dutcher’s bench trial is scheduled for August 3rd in Jones County.

Dutcher and Thomas Woodard Jr. are each charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of nurse Lorena Schulte and correctional officer Robert McFarland. The Anamosa State Penitentiary employees were killed on March 23rd during an attempted escape by Dutcher and Woodard.

Dutcher and Woodard are also charged with kidnapping and attempted murder. They're accused of holding an additional prison worker hostage and seriously injuring an inmate, who was trying to help Schulte and McFarland, during the attack.

Officials say the men used hammers in the attack that were checked out from a prison tool shop.

Woodard's trial is scheduled for September 21st in Linn County.

Photo: KCRG-TV 9

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