TECUMSEH – A Tecumseh inmate serving extra time for a 2018 assault on a prison staff member has been charged in Johnson County with another stabbing.

James Pilcher, 41, was sentenced for an October, 2018, incident at the prison and is charged this month with a prior first degree assault on Sept. 7, 2018.

The Nebraska Department of Correctional Services issued a press release following the September incident, when the cell doors of a restrictive housing gallery were opened in error.

Court records say 16 inmates in a segregation unit were let out of cells into a shared gallery. Most of the inmates disregarded orders to return to their cells. A 23-year-old inmate was attacked by other inmates.

Pilcher is accused of stabbing the inmate with a home-made shank, causing serious, life-threatening injuries. The inmate was taken by medical helicopter to a Lincoln hospital.

An arrest warrant affidavit says the man told investigators he had expected to be assaulted while in custody because he had testified against a gang with a heavy presence in southern California.

In the Oct. 25, 2018, incident, prosecutors say Pilcher swung a makeshift knife through the hatch in his cell door and caused a puncture wound. He was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in that incident.

Johnson County Attorney Rick Smith said he filed charges promptly after the completion of the investigation into the September 2018 incident.