A patient at the Norfolk Regional Center who was released from prison in February has been charged with four counts of felony assault.

The charges against Russell Frost, 45, were filed in two separate complaints on Tuesday. Both complaints charge Frost with two counts of third-degree assault on a Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services employee, which are Class 3A felonies punishable by up to 3 years of imprisonment.

Prosecutors allege that Frost — who has a criminal history crowded with assault convictions — assaulted two regional center employees on March 8 and two more on March 9.

Frost was released from prison on Feb. 17 after serving a year in the Nebraska Department of Corrections for attempted third-degree assault on a DHHS employee and criminal mischief. Frost, who is a sex offender, then was transported from prison back to the Norfolk Regional Center for psychiatric treatment.

Frost’s recent prison stint was the latest of six sentences he has served at Nebraska prisons. He spent nearly 5 years behind bars from 1999 to 2004 for child sexual assault out of Holt County.

Since 2004, Frost has been convicted of 10 felony assaults and one count each of terroristic threats and criminal mischief, all of which resulted in prison sentences. He also has served jail sentences for misdemeanor assault convictions.

Frost’s criminal mischief conviction stemmed from an occurrence in January 2022 in which he broke a sprinkler in his jail cell, causing water to drain from the water lines of the fire suppression system into his cell and then into the pod where his cell was located.

Frost resisted and spat on deputies who were escorting him out of his cell. And while being taken to another cell in a restraint chair, Frost said he wanted to go back to prison and would “keep acting out” no matter where he was housed.

Frost told District Judge Mark Johnson during his sentencing hearing in February 2022 that he was trying to fix himself and was doing his best to “get better.”

Matthew Kiernan, deputy Madison County attorney, said during last year’s sentencing hearing that Frost had developed a pattern of violent, unlawful behavior in which he finds himself in a courtroom every year or two for some type of violent offense.

The prosecutor added that sentencing Frost to prison would give workers at the regional center a break from Frost. And the other option, he said, would be to allow Frost to stay at the regional center or jail, where he would cause more havoc.

“The state is forced to take the lesser of the two evils in this situation and give him what he wants,” Kiernan said at the time. “We’re recommending that he goes to the pen for another year or two. And the pattern continues.”

Frost, if convicted of each of his new charges, would face up to 12 years in prison.

In other news

In another unprecedented series of discussions and two resulting votes on Thursday night, the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District Board of Directors again left Battle Creek residents wondering if a solution to the ongoing threat of flooding would ever be adopted.