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Associated Press , Published September 10 2013

ND inmate charged with attacking prison guard

BISMARCK — An inmate serving life in prison for kidnapping and murder has been charged with attempted murder for an attack on a prison guard.

John Bridges, 43, also is charged with another Class A felony, possession of contraband by an inmate for possessing a weapon.

Bridges stabbed corrections officer Daryl Lawson with a homemade knife on Aug. 25 at the state penitentiary, according to court documents.

Bridges is serving a life sentence plus 20 years without parole after pleading guilty last fall for the kidnapping and ax murder of Lee Clay. Bridges admitted to forcing Clay into his van and killing him during a struggle on Interstate 94 in Burleigh County in 2012.

In court last fall, prosecutors asked for a life sentence for Bridges, saying a psychologist who evaluated him called him the most psychopathic and dangerous person she had evaluated. South Central District Judge Cynthia Feland sentenced Bridges to the life term in November.

Bridges was being held in the prison's administrative segregation unit, where inmates are kept mostly in solitary confinement.

North Dakota Highway Patrol Capt. Kyle Kirchmeier said at the time of the attack that Bridges had manipulated his cell door so it wouldn't latch, forced the door open as the officer approached, knocked the officer over with the door and then stabbed him.

Lawson had minor injuries and was back to work the next day. Bridges remains in segregation.

No court date has been set for Bridges to appear on the new charges.


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