The man was nearing his release from prison, but now faces a longer sentence.
An inmate at the state's maximum-security prison in Oak Park Heights who was due to be released in October appears likely to have his sentence extended after conviction for threatening to kill a Corrections Department nurse and her child.
Douglas N. Sweeney, 51, will be sentenced May 5 after a jury in Washington County District Court last month found him guilty of a felony charge of making terroristic threats. Assistant Washington County Attorney Susan Harris, who tried the case, said a 15-month sentence in prison is being sought.
According to the criminal complaint, on June 12, 2009, Sweeney was housed in the prison's Administrative Control Unit. The segregated area of the prison is designed to separate the prison's most violent inmates from others.
The nurse was escorted by a corrections officer to deliver Sweeney an inhaler, the complaint says, given to Sweeney through a slot in his cell door. He suddenly began screaming threats and obscenities at the nurse, saying "I'm gonna get you when I get out!" He also yelled he was going to kill her baby.
After using the inhaler, the complaint says, he continued cursing at the guard and nurse. The nurse reported the threat to her supervisors. She was shaken by the incident, and felt genuine fear for her safety and that of her child. "She was very afraid," Harris said.
As Sweeney was being questioned about the incident by an investigator, he stopped the questioning and said, "Charge me and let's go to court."
Sweeney got his wish.
Jim Anderson • 651-735-0999