NEWPORT TWP. — A state inmate serving a lengthy prison sentence for an attempted murder in Philadelphia was arraigned Tuesday on charges he assaulted a correctional officer when he was housed at the Retreat state prison.
Vincent Wilkerson, 55, charged at Officer Michael Wassel, who was struck in the face, head and chest July 11, according to a criminal complaint.
The trouble started when officers say they discovered an iPhone concealed in clothing while searching Wilkerson’s cell. When Wilkerson was told to turn around and place his hands behind his back, he charged at Wassel with a closed fist and struck him, the complaint says.
Wassel suffered facial injuries.
Wilkerson was arraigned in Luzerne County Central Court on charges of aggravated assault and possession of contraband involving a communication device. Bail was set at $20,000.
Court records say Wilkerson was sentenced in 2002 in Philadelphia County Court to 32 1/2 to 65 years in state prison for the shooting of Nasir Hill in Philadelphia on Oct. 5, 1997. A jury convicted Wilkerson of attempted murder, aggravated assault and possessing instruments of crime, records say.
Wilkerson is now housed at the State Correctional Institution at Fayette, according to the state Department of Corrections.