Inmate facing new charges in prison guard's hammer death

Inmate facing new charges in prison guard's hammer death
FILE - This file photo provided by the Minnesota Department of Corrections shows Edward Muhammad Johnson, who has been indicted on first-degree murder charges for killing a of guard at the Stillwater prison July 18, 2018. (Minnesota Department of Corrections via AP, File)

STILLWATER, Minn. (AP) — An inmate accused of using a hammer to kill a Minnesota prison guard has been indicted on first-degree murder charges.

A grand jury returned the indictment Tuesday against 42-year-old Edward Muhammad Johnson. He’s accused of killing Department of Corrections Officer Joseph Gomm at the Stillwater prison on July 18.

According to the new charges, Johnson repeatedly struck Gomm in the head and face with a hammer that he checked out from an industrial workshop on the third floor of the correctional facility.

Johnson was initially charged with second-degree murder and assault. He’s now charged with first-degree premediated murder and first-degree murder of a prison guard.

Minnesota Public Radio reports that state law requires a grand jury to approve the more serious charges.

Johnson is serving a 29-year sentence for a fatal stabbing in 2002.

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Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org