A 21-year-old inmate at the Maine State Prison pleaded guilty Aug. 25 to beating an employee of the prison while the two men were in the institution's kitchen.

Todd Fickett was sentenced to serve an additional 10 months in prison for punching an officer who supervised the prison kitchen staff. Fickett told investigators he had a contentious relationship with the victim, explaining that the victim would often threaten to fire him.

Fickett said days before the assault took place, in October, he was taken off his medication, and was unable to sleep, according to court papers.

Fickett told prison investigator Jason Benefield he "flipped out" on the victim after he was ordered to stop doing dishes and work at another station by the officer. He stated things "got rough," but that he did not want to go any further in escalating the attack.  A witness of the assault said Fickett punched the officer four to five times in the head and neck after telling the victim he was going to pound him, said the investigator's report filed in Knox County Superior Court.

The victim, when interviewed, said he was in disbelief that he had been assaulted by Fickett, said court papers.

In May 2012, Fickett was convicted of arson in Oxford County and sentenced to serve 15 years of a 20-year sentence. Fickett admitted to setting fire to an occupied Norway apartment building that displaced inhabitants and destroyed the building. Fickett also lived at the building, and was seen leaving the area with a backpack shortly before the building went up in flames, said court papers.

A neighbor, if the case had gone to trial, would have testified Fickett had threatened to kill him a day before the fire was set after he confronted Fickett about stealing food, said court papers.

Courier Publications' reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 118 or via email at jlaaka@villagesoup.com