Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A Rochester man convicted of assaulting an emergency room nurse at St. Mary's Hospital last year has been sentenced to 20 months in prison but it appears 35-year-old William Kirchner will be freed before he can be transferred to the state prison in St. Cloud.

Kirchner was arrested January 7, 2023 after Rochester police responded to the hospital emergency department on the report that a nurse had been assaulted. The criminal complaint against the Rochester man alleged that he began yelling at a nurse and punched him in the jaw after he was informed that his request for a shower could not be met.

The court document says three Mayo Clinic security guards witnessed the assault, which was also captured on a surveillance camera video recording. The complaint says the video shows Kirchner motioning with his left arm extended, as if to distract the victim, while he "loaded his right fist, and then stepped into a punch at the nurse's head."

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Kirchner recently entered a Norgaard plea to a felony count of fourth-degree assault. The Norgaard plea means he admits his guilt but does not have any memories of his actions.

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Because he had spent more than a year in jail before the criminal case was settled, Kirchner was given credit for the 418 days he had already served behind bars. That means, with credit for good behavior, his 20 month prison term is scheduled to expire next Tuesday. If he were required to serve his entire prison sentence, Kirchner would remain in custody until late November.

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