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April 04, 2019

Philadelphia man charged in vicious attack on cellmate at Montgomery County prison

Victim left in medically induced coma with severe head injuries

Investigations Assaults
Joseph Hodum Source/Montgomery County District Attorney's Office

Joseph Hodum, 38, of Philadelphia, is charged with attempted murder and related offenses. He allegedly punched and kicked his cellmate at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Lower Providence Township, leaving the victim with severe and life-threatening brain injuries.

A Philadelphia man being held at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility is charged with attempted murder after authorities say he viciously attacked his cellmate last Saturday morning.

Joseph Hodum, 38, allegedly launched a brutal and unprovoked attack on cellmate Stephen Klampfer, 50, in the medical area of the correctional facility.

In a criminal affidavit, corrections officers who witnessed the entire incident said they first heard Hodum shouting near the locked cell door around 8:27 a.m. Klampfer was asleep face up on his cell bed and was not engaged in any kind of argument with Hodum, prosecutors said.

Without provocation, Hodum allegedly walked up to Klampfer and began punching him in the head, landing about a dozen strikes. Klampfer did not put his hands up or attempt to defend himself. He eventually went to the ground beside the bunk, where Hodum allegedly stomped Klampfer's head into the ground more than 20 times, according to prosecutors.

By the time corrections officers were able to get backup and intervene, Klampfer had lost consciousness. He was airlifted to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. 

Officials said Klampfer, of Norristown, suffered a severe brain injury with hemorrhaging all over his brain, including the brain stem. He remains in a medically induced coma on life support.

Montgomery County Detectives said Hodum claimed Klampfer made a sexual advance on him just prior to the attack, despite evidence to the contrary provided by corrections officers.

Hodum also was asked whether he kicked the victim in the head, to which he allegedly responded, "I didn't kick him I was just stomping on his head," according to the criminal complaint.

Hodum was arraigned Thursday and remains held at Montgomery County Correctional Facility. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 1.