Minn. prison inmate admits inflicting razor slashes on officer's face, scalp

The inmate pleaded guilty to slashing the CO's face, saying he wanted to make sure the officer would never forget him


Paul Walsh
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

OAK PARK HEIGHTS, Minn. — An Oak Park Heights prison inmate has pleaded guilty to slashing the face of a corrections officer, saying at the time that he wanted to make sure the officer would never forget him.

Joshua L. Smith, 29, serving a long sentence out of Benton County for aiding and abetting murder, pleaded guilty in Washington County District Court to one of two counts of first-degree assault in connection with the attack on June 27.

The plea deal calls for Smith to receive a sentence of 7 to 9¾ years to be served consecutive to the sentence that had him in prison in the first place. The other assault count will be dismissed at sentencing, scheduled for July 29.

Smith approached the officer about 7:30 a.m. and started slashing him. The officer was “bleeding profusely” from his head and neck when an ambulance took him to the hospital.

Hospital records showed he had more than 11 inches of deep cuts to his face and cheek, cuts on his lip, ear and hand, and eight cuts to the officer’s scalp totaling more than 25 inches, the charges said. The weapon was a toothless comb with a razor blade attached.

The inmate told investigators that he was angry at the officer and “wanted to permanently scar him so [he] would remember” him, according to the criminal complaint.

Smith was serving time for the December 2013 killing of Jamie R. Wylie of Foley, Minn. He was 19-plus years away from being released at the time of the attack.

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©2019 the Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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