DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Inmate Enoch Hall folded a piece of sheet metal and hid in the darkness of a Daytona Beach state prison building waiting for his victim, authorities say.
When unarmed correctional officer Donna Fitzgerald came looking for him Wednesday, he pounced on her and repeatedly stabbed the 50-year-old guard to death, they said.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents on Thursday arrested Hall, 39, on a murder charge.
At the time of the attack, he was serving life in prison at Tomoka Correctional Institution on 1993 sexual-battery and kidnapping convictions in Escambia County.
Preliminary reports indicated that Fitzgerald had been raped, but FDLE spokeswoman Susie Murphy said she couldn't confirm a sexual battery until a medical examiner completes the autopsy report.
Corrections Secretary Walter McNeil said his agency and the FDLE are conducting separate probes into the killing.
When Hall made his initial appearance before Volusia County Judge Mary Jane Henderson, he said little and had a swollen, bruised left eye. Henderson ordered Hall held without bail at the Volusia jail.
Investigators released few details Thursday. Florida Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said the prison was placed on lockdown.
A prison report shows that Hall attacked Fitzgerald in an area known as Pride that serves as a maintenance facility.
FDLE agents recovered the piece of metal they say was used, according to the report. It is unclear why Hall was separated from other inmates.
McNeil said that, according to prison policy, there is "usually more than one corrections officer involved in the movement of inmates." No prison guards carry a gun. They have only a chemical agent, plus a radio and a device to call for help.
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