Inmate Pleads Guilty to Killing Two Workers at Anamosa State Penitentiary
One of the two men who were charged in the March 2021 killing of two workers at the Anamosa State Penitentiary pleaded guilty to all charges Friday morning.
39-year-old Thomas Woodard appeared at a plea hearing Friday morning in Anamosa and pleaded guilty to all charges he was facing in the deaths of 46-year-old Robert McFarland and 50-year-old Lorena Schulte. McFarland, a correctional officer, and Schulte, a nurse at the facility, were killed during a failed escape attempt.
According to KWWL, Woodard admitted to hitting both McFarland and Schulte multiple times with a hammer. He claimed he wanted to kill McFarland but that was not his intent with Schulte. Woodard also said he hit inmate McKinley Roby multiple times with a hammer, as well. He admitted he was attempting to kill Roby, who was trying to assist McFarland and Schulte. Roby suffered serious injuries. Woodard also said he assisted Michael Dutcher, another inmate charged with the workers' deaths, by grabbing another worker who was trying to help others during the attacks.
Friday morning, after previously pleading not guilty, Woodard gave up his right to a trial by pleading guilty to First Degree Murder (two counts), Attempted Murder, and Second-Degree Kidnapping. KWWL says the plea bargain allows Woodard to be taken to Nebraska, where he will serve the rest of his life in person without the possibility of parole.
Michael Dutcher's trial has been pushed back with a new start date not yet confirmed.