IMCC inmates charged with attempted murder

CORALVILLE — A Minnesota man who gunned down two convenience store clerks in Northern Iowa in November 2010 is accused of trying to kill a fellow inmate at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center.

A second inmate also has been charged with attempted murder.

According to a Coralville police criminal complaint, on 7:18 a.m. Nov. 13, 21-year-old Michael R. Swanson and 33-year-old Michael J. Ivester approached an inmate that was seated in a chair. Police said Ivester grabbed the inmate’s arms and hands while Swanson used a bladed weapon to slash at the inmate’s neck.

Coralville Police Lt. Shane Kron said the attack occurred in a common area in a cell block. Swanson attacked the inmate with a knife fashioned out of a razor blade, Kron said.

“They didn’t like the other guy,” Kron said of the motive for the attack. “It really just came down to that.”

The attack ended when a Department of Corrections officer and another inmate pushed Ivester and Swanson off the victim. 

“Not only did he stop the assault, he had the correctional officer’s back, too,” Kron said of the inmate who stopped the assault. “The two of them pushed the guy down and gave time for everybody else to get there.”

Police said the victim was cut 15 times and required stitches.

Swanson is serving a life sentence for two first-degree murder convictions. In November 2010, the then-17-year-old shot and killed convenience store clerks in Humboldt and Kossuth counties.

Iowa Department of Corrections spokesman Fred Scaletta said confrontations between inmates do occasionally occur. However, when they reach this level of violence, local authorities are called in to the investigation, which happened in this case.

IMCC officials also will conduct their own investigation and institute any measures they believe are necessary, Scaletta said.

“We’ll take whatever steps are necessary to ensure the safety and protection of not only other inmates, but staff as well,” Scaletta said.

Possible institutional punishment can include loss of good behavior time, segregation and disciplinary detention. 

Ivester and Swanson each face one count of attempted murder, a Class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison. According to court records, both men are scheduled to be arraigned on Feb. 20. KCRG