HUTCHINSON, Kansas (AP) — A Wichita man already serving a hard-50 prison sentence for first-degree murder was sentenced Friday to an additional 22 years for attacking and nearly killing a guard at Hutchinson Correctional Facility.
In handing down the sentence to Dajuan Wilkerson, 37, Reno County District Judge Timothy Chambers said the extra time might not have any influence on whether Wilkerson ever leaves prison, but it sends a message to inmates that attacks of that nature will be punished, The Hutchinson News reported.
Wilkerson was convicted in August of attempted second-degree murder, aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer and trafficking in contraband. Reno County prosecutors said Wilkerson had been released from his cell in July 2010 when he attacked former Sgt. William Kendall.
The attack sent the guard to the hospital for 15 days with head injuries. Kendall, who does not remember the attack, testified at Wilkerson’s preliminary hearing that his cognitive abilities remained impaired and he still suffers from pain in one area of his head.
Scott Waters, who worked alongside Kendall on the day of the attack, testified at the August trial thatWilkerson had been released from his cell block and was talking to Kendall in an area that is not under video surveillance.
Waters said he was in the restroom when he heard Kendall’s voice say, “That was disrespectful.” Waters said he believed Kendall was talking to Wilkerson. When he came out of the restroom and saw Kendall lying in a pool of blood and Wilkerson walking back to his cell.
At the sentencing hearing Friday, Kendall said he doesn’t feel anger toward Wilkerson, though he gets upset sometimes at what he can no longer do.
Kendall asked Wilkerson, a married father who has spent three years in solitary confinement because of the attack, whether it was worth it.
Wilkerson was in prison at the time of the attack for 2001 convictions of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder in Sedgwick County.
He will start serving the new 22-year stint after finishing his 50-year sentence.