Wausau man takes plea deal in jail attack

Prison cell file photo.
File photo.

WAUSAU (AP) – A Wausau man has taken a plea agreement in an attack on two Marathon County corrections officers that prompted scrutiny of the jail’s working conditions, staffing and overcrowding.

Twenty-one-year-old Fredrick Morris was convicted Friday of one count of aggravated battery with the intention of causing bodily harm, and two counts of battery by a prisoner as a repeat offender. Charges from four drug cases were dismissed.

Morris punched corrections officer Julie Christiansen in the head on March 27, 2013. She was hospitalized for months. Another officer was also injured.

Morris is scheduled for sentencing Sept. 19. Prosecutors are recommending 20 years in prison.

Defense attorney John Wallace says Morris was upset and off his medication when he punched Christiansen, and never intended to hurt her so badly.

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