Jury selection continues in Vaughn prison riot trial

WILMINGTON — Jury selection for the Vaughn prison uprising trial continued into its second day.

The trial will decide the fate of four of 18 inmates charged with murder, conspiracy, kidnapping and rioting in connection with the Feb. 1 incident that left Lt. Steven Floyd dead last year.

Judge William C. Carpenter Jr., who’s hearing the case at New Castle County Court House, led the proceedings.

Deputy Attorneys General John Downs, Nichole Warner and Brian Robertson, and state-appointed counsel for the four inmate defendants — Roman Shankaras, Dwayne Staats, Jarreau Ayers and Deric Forney — continued to work through a large list of potential jurors.

At least 150 potential jurors have been questioned to narrow the pool down to a more manageable 40 or 50 candidates from which the prosecution and defendants can select.

While many of the questions are designed to identify any potential bias, the top reason for dismissal remains the significant time commitment the court is asking of jurors in this case.

Judge Carpenter estimates the trial, once it begins on Oct. 22, could take up to four weeks, possibly longer.

Ultimately, 12 jurors and six alternates will be selected to serve, according to chief staff attorney Linda Carmichael.

The jury selection process will continue today and is expected to be complete before the end of the week.

 

Reach staff writer Ian Gronau at igronau@newszap.com

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.