State prison inmate Patrick W. Schroeder, 39, was charged Friday in Johnson County with first-degree murder and use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony. Schroeder is accused of murdering his cellmate, Terry L. Berry, 22.
These charges resulted from an investigation conducted by the Nebraska State Patrol with assistance from the Nebraska Department of Corrections, Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson said.
Berry and Schroeder were the only occupants in a cell at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institute near Tecumseh.
On April 15 at approximately 7:37 p.m., corrections personnel found Berry unresponsive. He was transported to Bryan Medical Center West in Lincoln and placed on life support.
Berry was pronounced dead five days later.
An autopsy Friday indicated the cause of death was asphyxia due to compression of the neck structures, the attorney general said.
Berry was serving a three-year sentence for forgery, plus a year for assault of a confined person, both in Platte County.
His sentence began in late November 2013.
He was due to be released in December, according to the prison records.
Schroeder is already serving a life sentence for murder in Pawnee County. He’d been in prison since 2006.
Schroeder is expected to appear in Johnson County Court on May 3. Johnson County Attorney Rick Smith and attorneys from the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office are prosecuting the case.