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Former Fort Leavenworth military hospital employee sentenced to 20 years in prison for setting Army nurse on fire

(Katie Ann Blanchard/YouTube)
November 02, 2017

A former employee at a Fort Leavenworth military hospital who attacked a U.S Army nurse with a razor blade and a pair of scissors, and lit her on fire, was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison, according to a U.S. Attorney’s office release.

Clifford Currie, 55, “was sentenced today to the statutory maximum of 20 years in federal prison plus 3 years of supervised release for attacking a woman whom he set on fire,” U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said in the release.

In August, Currie was found guilty of one count of assault with intent to commit murder for the 2016 attack at the Fort Leavenworth Munson Army Health Center against Army Lt. Katie Ann Blanchard.

In addition, Currie was ordered to pay nearly $3.5 million in restitution to Blanchard for the September 2016 attack.

Blanchard was lit on fire with gasoline and a match, and Currie also attacked her with scissors and a razor blade.

Co-worker Deanne Kilian entered the room after hearing screams and tried to help put the fire out with her body and a blanket. Currie attacked Blanchard with the scissors and the razor blade while putting his foot on her throat.

“I remember seeing him above me with his foot on my neck,” Blanchard said. “He’s so close to me and has this smirky smile on his face.”

While a soldier was subduing Currie, Blanchard reportedly screamed: “I told you this would happen!”

Blachard said that she had been complaining about Currie for months, but officers at the hospital ignored her.

In a January 2016 dispute, Currie had cornered Blanchard in an office and screamed at her. When situations similar to this arose, she would hit the “Code Green” alarm to get security to separate them.

Since the incident, Blanchard has been receiving treatment at Brooke Army Medical Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam in Houston, Texas, according to a release in October.

Blanchard says she hopes to spread her message and turn it into a message of hope.

“It’s a difficult story to share, but if I can help even one person, one soldier, it will make all of this worth it,” she said.

Blanchard is a member of the Regional Health Command-Central Workplace Violence Working Group, which works to fight workplace violence by adding “more security to military health care facilities, drafting a workplace violence guide, and working to institute violence prevention education and training for supervisors and employees,” according to the release.

“I’m thankful that he’s going away. But there’s no justice,” Blanchard previously told The Daily Beast. “Not enough to replace what I’ve lost.”