Vaughn prison riot trial ends in no convictions

WILMINGTON — After almost five days of deliberations the jury returned two full acquittals and two partial acquittals of four inmates charged with perpetrating the 2017 Vaughn prison riot that left Lt. Steven Floyd dead.

Currently on trial are John Bramble, Abednego Baynes, Kevin Berry and Obadiah Miller. They were all accused of riot, assault, kidnapping, conspiracy and murder in connection with the incident.

After announcing they’d reached an impasse on five individual counts this morning, the jury of 11 women and one man delivered their verdicts in open court in the early afternoon. The jury acquitted Baynes and Berry, finding them not guilty of a single count.

Things were a bit more complicated for Bramble and Miller.

Miller was found not guilty of conspiracy and kidnapping but they returned “no decision” verdicts for riot, and two individual counts of murder (felony murder and murder of a law enforcement officer).

Bramble was found not guilty of murder, kidnapping and conspiracy, but the jury returned “no decision” verdicts on assault of correctional officer Winslow Smith and riot.

In a hasty exit of the New Castle County courthouse, the prosecution team of Deputy Attorneys General John Downs, Brian Robertson and Nicole Warner only said: “no comment.”

All four defense attorneys noted their and their clients’ satisfaction with the jury’s decision. As for the “no decision” verdicts, they said they’d have to wait on the Department of Justice’s decision on whether or not to pursue the charges further or drop them.

Staff writer Ian Gronau can be reached at 741-8272 or igronau@newszap.com

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