Prosecutors: Man who killed Security Hospital patient attacked another patient a week earlier

  • Article by: Associated Press
  • Updated: February 28, 2014 - 12:40 PM

Darnell D. Whitefeather

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ST. PETER, Minn. — Prosecutors have filed additional charges against a Bemidji man accused of beating to death a fellow patient at a psychiatric hospital in January, saying he assaulted another patient the week before that attack and broke the man's nose.

In a criminal complaint filed this week, prosecutors say that Darnell Dee Whitefeather attacked another Minnesota Security Hospital patient in the man's cell on Jan. 15, the Mankato Free Press reported ( ). Whitefeather, 32, allegedly accused the man of being a child molester and broke the man's nose during the attack.

That was exactly a week before prosecutors say Whitefeather beat to death 41-year-old Michael Francis Douglas in Douglas' cell. That attack, which prosecutors say was done in attempt to get the attention of staff, happened in a more secure area of the hospital where Whitefeather was moved after the initial attack.

Whitefeather was charged with second-degree murder after the Jan. 22 attack and was moved from the St. Peter hospital to Nicollet County Jail. He was charged Wednesday with third-degree and fifth-degree assault in the earlier attack.

According to court documents, Whitefeather is being evaluated to determine whether he is mentally competent to stand trial. He has April 9 hearings scheduled for both cases.

Douglas was committed to the hospital as mentally ill and dangerous after serving 21 years in prison for murdering a man in Mankato in 1991.

The Security Hospital is part of the St. Peter Regional Treatment Center, which is operated by the state Department of Human Services.

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