Prisoner hospitalized after trying to stop attack by fellow inmate that killed two prison staff members


ANAMOSA, IA – In a recent report, Law Enforcement Today reported on an inmate attack on staff inside of the Anamosa State Penitentiary in Iowa that left a correctional officer and nurse dead.

Now, we have more information on the incident: One inmate tried to stop the attack that killed the two, and that man was hospitalized after being seriously injured by the aggressors allegedly behind the prison murders. 

There’s an old adage that say give credit where credit is due – but goes further to commending heroism.

On March 23rd, an attack launched by two inmates transpired inside of the Anamosa State Penitentiary that left a correctional officer and staff nurse dead.

Officials later identified the deceased victims as Lorena Schulte, who had been working as a registered nurse with the facility since 2007 and Robert McFarland, a correctional officer who’d been with the prison since 2008.

Furthermore, the two inmates allegedly behind the murders were also identified as 39-year-old Thomas Woodard and 28-year-old Michael Dutcher.

Both of the inmates have been charged in relation to the attack with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder, and one count of second-degree kidnapping.

The attempted murder charge actually relates to the attack launched on one of their fellow inmates who tried to stop the murders, later identified as McKinley Roby.

According to officials, inmates Woodard and Dutcher were trying to escape from the prison during the morning of March 23rd.

While the two inmates were attempting to escape the prison, nurse Schulte and C.O. McFarland were inside of the break room of the prison infirmary and had caught wind of the attempted escape.

The inmates were said to have been armed with a hammer, and reportedly attacked Schulte and McFarland, striking them both in the back of the head. Reportedly, inmate Roby intervened, trying to stop the attack and render aid to the nurse and correctional officer.

That’s when both inmates Woodard and Dutcher attacked Roby, striking him in the back of the head with the hammer. Sadly, Schulte and McFarland died as a result of blunt force trauma. As for Roby, he was transferred over to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and remains hospitalized.

After the killing of the two corrections staff members and the attack on Roby, inmates Woodard and Dutcher held correctional staff member Lorie Matthes against her will after she tried helping the victims, allegedly telling her “she would be next,” if she didn’t cooperate.

The situation was eventually handled by prison staff, according to reports. However, the loss of life is still disheartening.

After hearing about the inmate who tried intervening to stop the murderous attack, retired police officer David Winger wound up donating some money to his inmate commissary fund. When Winger was asked what compelled him to do so, he stated:

“No matter what his past was before, in that moment he made the right decision and unfortunately he suffered greatly for it.”

In that moment, Roby certainly stepped up to do the right thing. And for that act, he deserves all the accolades coming.

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Law Enforcement Today as reported on this incident as the news was first breaking. 

Here’s that previous report. 


NAMOSA, IA – An attack that took place inside of a prison infirmary on March 23rd, that was reportedly launched by a prison inmate, resulted in a corrections officer and nurse being killed.

Officials have yet to release the identity of the inmate allegedly behind the attack, nor the identities of the victims killed.

According to officials, the incident occurred inside of the infirmary during the morning of March 23rd at the Anamosa State Penitentiary in Iowa. As of now, it’s unclear what exactly led up to the attack in question and officials haven’t commented on how exactly the attack was carried out.

Department of Corrections spokesperson Cord Overton delivered the following comments on the investigation on March 24th:

“We’re still trying to gather as many facts as we can and verify as much as we can. Between now and then, we’ll just be trying to get all the details we can.”

All that has been shared so far, as of this writing, was that a single inmate attacked both staff members inside of the prison infirmary and other inmates, as well.

Danny Homan, who serves as the union president that represents correctional facility employees within Iowa, shared his condolences for the loss of life that occurred at Anamosa State Penitentiary:

“No one should ever have to go to work and worry about whether they will come home or not. Unfortunately for two Iowans who had committed their lives to keeping our communities safe, they won’t be going home tonight.”

Reportedly, the Iowa Department of Corrections and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation are investigating the incident at this time.

The Anamosa State Penitentiary is said to be a prison facility that is designed to house medium to maximum security inmates, collectively hosting 950 inmates and employing 321 staff members.

Governor Kim Reynolds also expressed condolences during a press conference held the morning of March 24th, saying the following:

“I want to ask all Iowans to join me in lifting up their grieving families, friends and colleagues in prayer.

“It’s hard to understand such a senseless loss, but it’s my hope that the prayers of our state may offer some sense of peace and comfort during this difficult time.”

Addressing the loss suffered by the Department of Corrections, Governor Reynolds stated that the entity has the full “support” from her and the greater community:

“This is an extremely difficult situation. You’ve lost two of your own. And I want you to know that all of us stand united and ready to support you.”

According to facility data, roughly 70% of the inmates housed at Anamosa State Penitentiary are convicted violent offenders, with the average sentence served among the population being in excess of 25 years.

This is a developing investigation.

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further insight into this incident.


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