Anamosa State Prison inmate pleads guilty in staff murders

ANAMOSA, Iowa -- One of the inmates accused of murdering two Anamosa State Prison staff members is pleading guilty to all charges.

Thomas Woodard entered the pleas during a hearing in the Jones County Courthouse Friday morning.

He's charged with 1st Degree Murder, 2nd Degree Kidnapping, and Attempted Murder after a failed escape attempt at the prison in March.

Police say Woodard and another inmate, Michael Dutcher, killed correctional officer Robert McFarland and nurse Lorena Schulte with a hammer.

Dutcher says the killings were in self-defense and has pleaded not guilty. He waived his right to a speedy trial.

A sentencing date for Woodard has not been set.

Under Iowa law, a 1st Degree Murder conviction carries a mandatory life sentence.

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