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Forum News Service, Published July 30 2013

Jamestown prison guard hospitalized after attack by inmate

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – A Jamestown prison guard was hospitalized Sunday after being attacked by an inmate who authorities say will face felony charges.

Guard Jeremiah McDonald was talking to an inmate about 1:10 p.m. in one of the dormitories of the James River Correctional Center when another inmate, Shawn Ostafin, assaulted him, said Capt. Bryan Niewind of the North Dakota Highway Patrol.

“There were no weapons involved,” Niewind said. Ostafin physically attacked McDonald, he said.

McDonald was taken by air ambulance to a Bismarck hospital with severe head injuries, Niewind said. He would not release McDonald’s condition as of Tuesday night.

“(Ostafin) will be facing felony charges with this incident,” Niewind said.

The exact charges have not been determined, partly because authorities are waiting to see the extent of McDonald’s injuries, Niewind said.

No one else was involved in the incident, he said, adding he didn’t know what the inmate McDonald was originally talking to did when Ostafin assaulted McDonald.

Ostafin was not injured, Niewind said.

The Highway Patrol is tasked with all incidents at the James River Correctional Center, Niewind said. In his 13 years with the patrol, this is the first time he can remember a correctional officer needing an air ambulance after an incident at the prison.

The Associated Press reported that Ostafin, formerly of Mandan, has a violent criminal history. He served a lengthy sentence for the 1990 murders of his father and stepfather and is now serving time for terrorizing.