A man serving time for aggravated murder in the Utah State Prison stabbed two inmates during a fight inside the prison’s genealogy building Wednesday.
Ernest Hernandez, 44, used a sharpened piece of metal to attack two other inmates just before 4 p.m., prison spokesman Stephen Gehrke said.
One man was stabbed twice and was treated at the prison infirmary for minor injuries. The other man was stabbed six times in the abdomen and back and taken to University H XXXXXXX ospital in Salt Lake City. He was released the next day.
Prison officials at the Draper facility are still investigating what led to the stabbing. Gehrke said he was unaware of any yelling or arguing before the attack. The injured men, one 52 years old and the other 74 years old, are serving time for sex offenses involving children, Gehrke said. He didn’t release their names.
Hernandez, who has been incarcerated since 1992, is serving a life sentence for shooting and killing Circle K store clerk Tod Menuey. On Jan. 23, 1991, Hernandez forced the 26-year-old man into a back room of the store, at 1692 W. North Temple, and shot him in the back of the head with a .38 caliber pistol. Hernandez then took money from the store cash register.
Hernandez entered a no-contest plea to aggravated murder in February 1992.
After Wednesday’s stabbings, Hernandez was moved from the prison’s general population to a maximum-security wing where he is housed in a cell by himself, Gehrke said. Hernandez had been living in the prison’s general population for about two years without any problems until Wednesday, he said.
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