WINDSOR, N.C. — Prosecutors want the death penalty for an inmate accused of beating to death a correctional officer who rushed to extinguish fire set in a prison dormitory trash can.

Multiple media organizations report that District Attorney Valerie Asbell last month advised a Bertie County judge she would seek the death penalty against Craig Wissink. He’s accused of beating to death Sgt. Meggan Callahan with the fire extinguisher she used to douse the fire inside Bertie Correctional Institution last year.

The 36-year-old Wissink was already serving a life sentence for a June 2000 murder in Fayetteville.

Callahan was the first of five North Carolina prison workers to die last year in two attacks by inmates. State prisons have seen severe staff shortages, putting workers in danger.