Serial killer faces attempted murder charge after prison stabbing with homemade knife

(WPRI Photo)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Notorious Rhode Island serial killer Craig Price has been charged with attempted murder for allegedly stabbing a fellow inmate in Florida last month.

Price, 43, is facing one count each of attempted murder and contraband in prison, according to documents from the state attorney’s office in Florida.

According to court documents obtained by Target 12, prosecutors say Price used a 5-inch homemade knife to repeatedly stab another inmate named Joshua Davis in a “premeditated design” and with “intent to kill.”

Investigators say Price entered Davis’s cell and stabbed him repeatedly for 20 seconds before the inmate was able to run.

“Price caught up with Davis inside the quad and tackled Davis, continuing the attack with the knife,” prosecutors said in court documents. “Two officers with the assistance of two inmates, were able to restrain Price and enable Davis to once again escape the attack.”

The other inmate was stabbed five times, twice to the head, twice to the back and again to the chest, according to court documents. He was transported to the hospital where he was treated and has since been released.

Price is scheduled to be arraigned in a Florida courtroom on Aug. 3.

Investigators said the attack – which happened at the Suwannee Correctional Institution on April 4 – was caught on a prison video system. Court documents do not spell out what precipitated the attack.

Price was 15 years old when he admitted he stabbed to death 39-year-old Joan Heaton and her two daughters, 10-year-old Jennifer and 8-year-old Melissa, in 1989. He also confessed to the murder of 27-year-old Rebecca Spencer two years earlier.

He was sent to Florida in 2004 as part of an interstate compact because the R.I. Department of Corrections deemed him a security risk to himself and others at the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston.

Price’s Rhode Island sentence is set to expire this October, but he would then have to serve an additional two-and-a-half years in Florida for stabbing a prison guard there in 2009.

Price is not serving time for the murders because he was a juvenile when the crime took place, and state law at the time meant he would be released from prison when he turned 21; those laws have since been changed. Instead Price is serving time for a patchwork of infractions including contempt of court and other incidents stemming from his time behind bars.

The newest case against Price could be significant because the clock is ticking on his release: including his sentence in Rhode Island as well as the 2009 Florida assault, Price is scheduled to be a free man in 2020.

In 2015, a Target 12 investigation found Price accrued 43 infractions while he was incarcerated at the ACI in Cranston. Seven of those were either dismissed or lessened to a warning.

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