Inmate charged in stabbing at Washington State Penitentiary

Daniel E. Johnson is accused of using a makeshift weapon to attack another man in September.

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WALLA WALLA -- A Washington State Penitentiary inmate has been charged in Walla Walla County Superior Court with stabbing a fellow prisoner at the institution in September.

Daniel E. Johnson, 30, is accused of second-degree assault. The charge was filed Tuesday.

Officials said Johnson used a makeshift weapon to stab inmate Virgil P. Morgan, 28, several times in the day room of a West Complex unit about 8 p.m. Sept. 26.

The assault took place after Morgan walked up to Johnson, told him something and then walked away, according to a police report filed in court.

"Johnson, who was on the phone, hangs the phone up and immediately starts hitting Morgan on the back multiple times with quick blows," the report says. The attack reportedly lasted 15-20 seconds before correctional officers could stop it.

Morgan was hospitalized at Providence St. Mary Medical Center. Johnson was placed in segregation.

Penitentiary staff members recovered the suspected weapon, a sharpened steel rod wrapped with a cloth handle.

Johnson is scheduled to be taken to court Dec. 5 for his first appearance on the assault charge.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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