Inmate charged with murder of Stillwater prison guard Joseph Gomm

Edward Muhammad Johnson is accused of inflicting fatal injuries on Gomm last month.
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The inmate suspected in the fatal attack on Stillwater prison officer Joseph Gomm has been charged with murder.

Edward Muhammad Johnson, 42, was charged on Thursday by the Washington County Attorney's Office with 2nd degree murder and 2nd degree assault.

He's alleged to have attacked Gomm with a hammer at MCF-Stillwater on Wednesday, July 18, in an industrial building on the prison campus, where inmates had access to tools.

According to the criminal complaint against Johnson, Gomm was found on the floor of the building's welding shop with "substantial injuries to his head and face." He later died at Regions Hospital.

The shop foreman told investigators that he'd been approached by another inmate who said that Gomm needed help, and when he found them he saw Johnson hitting Gomm in the head with a hammer.

When the foreman radioed for help and ordered Johnson to stop, Johnson walked towards him and swung the hammer at him. The foreman left the shop as he was "fearing for his life."

Johnson then barricaded the door shut, and was observed by other inmates running around the shop with no shirt on. He told the other inmates, "you guys are fine," which they took to mean they were safe from attack.

When officers eventually got into the shop, Johnson surrendered.

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Investigators later learned that the hammer had been checked out to Johnson when he reported for work that afternoon.

The same bloody hammer was found near Gomm, along with two homemade "knives," one or both of which were used to stab Gomm in the chest.

An autopsy found Gomm had died from blunt force injuries, as well as suffering two puncture wounds to his chest.

Johnson was already in the middle of a 29-year sentence for a previous homicide he committed, and had a string of disciplinary problems while in prison.

Since the attack, he has been moved to the higher security Oak Park Heights prison.

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