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Published September 29, 2010, 03:04 PM

MN inmate accused of plotting to kill prosecutor

FARIBAULT, Minn. (AP) — An imprisoned Minnesota drug felon is accused of hiring a man to kill a county attorney, a judge and a witness who helped convict him.

FARIBAULT, Minn. (AP) — An imprisoned Minnesota drug felon is accused of hiring a man to kill a county attorney, a judge and a witness who helped convict him.

Forty-seven-year-old John Stephen Woodward was charged Wednesday in Rice County with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit assault.

Woodward, formerly of Inver Grove Heights, is accused of plotting to kill Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom and Judge Rex Stacey, who was the judge at Woodward's trial.

Woodward allegedly began the plot while he was in the Faribault state prison. Court records show he has been imprisoned since 2007 for a drug conviction, with release set for 2013.

The Star Tribune reports Woodward was moved to the maximum-security Oak Park Heights prison in August.

A court appearance on the murder-for-hire charges is set for Oct. 18.

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