Skip to Content

Trial pushed back for one inmate charged in Anamosa prison murders

Michael Dutcher
Michael Dutcher
Thomas Woodard
Thomas Woodard

ANAMOSA, Iowa (KWWL) -- One of the two inmates charged with killing two Anamosa State Prison workers in March will not go on trial next week as scheduled.

Michael Dutcher waived his right to a speedy trial on Thursday, effectively postponing his bench trial that was scheduled to begin in Jones County on August 3.

Court documents show Dutcher will claim he killed nurse Lorena Schulte and correctional officer Robert McFarland in self-defense, or in defense of others despite it being during an attempted escape. Dutcher previously pleaded not guilty to the murders and also waived his right to a jury trial.

A new bench trial date has not been set. Dutcher is now scheduled to be back in court at 11:30 on August 4 for a trial setting conference.

The other inmate charged in the attack, Thomas Woodard, has also pleaded not guilty, but will go on trial in Linn County. His jury trial is scheduled to begin September 21.

Investigators say the two inmates killed Schulte and McFarland during a failed prison escape on March 23. They are also accused of seriously injuring another inmate, McKinley Roby, who tried to help Schulte and McFarland and holding another prison worker, Lori Mathis, hostage. They say the two tried to escape with the help of tools they had acquired through their part in the prison's work program.

Click here to find all of our previous coverage on the case.

Trevor Oates

Executive Producer

Skip to content