Prison riot trials will continue in January

WILMINGTON — The next trial to decide the fate of inmates charged with perpetrating last year’s prison riot that left a correctional officer dead will begin in early January, according to New Castle County Courthouse staff. Jury selection will begin on Jan. 7, followed by an anticipated trial start date on Jan. 14. In the […]

Lawyer: DOC negligence caused deaths of 2 inmates

DOVER — Dover attorney Stephen Hampton on Wednesday accused the Delaware Department of Correction (DOC) of negligent behavior that he believes led to the deaths of two inmates this month. In October, Mr. Hampton had filed a lawsuit against the state on behalf of more than 100 inmates housed in C Building, the site of […]

Prosecutors get mixed reviews after prison riot trial

DOVER — In October 2017, the Delaware Department of Justice (DOJ) announced its intention to convict 16 inmates with the murder of correctional officer Lt. Steven Floyd. Their success rate, so far, hovers around just 33 percent. Accused inmates Dwayne Staats, Jarreau Ayers and Deric Forney were the first group of five to stand trial […]

Inmate who pleaded guilty in Vaughn riot found dead

DOVER — A 30-year-old inmate who pleaded guilty this week to charges related to the February 2017 riot at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center has died, prison officials said. Kelly Gibbs, who was incarcerated at the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in Wilmington, was pronounced dead at 2:45 a.m. Thursday. He is the second inmate connected […]

One of three inmates found guilty of murder in Vaughn prison trial

WILMINGTON — After a nearly five-week trial, the verdicts for three of the 18 inmates charged with perpetrating the deadly Vaughn prison riot last year are in. The jury found Dwayne Staats guilty of all charges except for intentional first-degree murder, Jarreau Ayers guilty of all charges except murder and Deric Forney not guilty. Ayers, […]

Vaughn prison riot jury reaches ‘impasse’

WILMINGTON — The jury deciding the fate of three of the 18 inmates charged with perpetrating the deadly James T. Vaughn Correctional Center prison riot last year notified Judge William C. Carpenter Jr. that they appeared to have reached an “impasse” in deliberation. A letter to the judge explained that jury could not agree on […]

Vaughn riot jury struggles with accomplice liability

WILMINGTON — Entering their second day of deliberation on Monday, the jury deciding the fate of three of the 18 inmates charged with the fatal Vaughn prison riot last year requested a clarification from the court in the early afternoon. The indicted inmates are being tried separately in five groups. The first group consists of […]

Prison riot trial jury continues deliberations

WILMINGTON — As of Friday afternoon, after approximately seven hours of deliberation, the jury in the Vaughn prison riot trial had not yet arrived at a verdict. The trial will decide the fate of the inmates charged with perpetrating the riot at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center last year that left Lt. Steven Floyd dead. […]

Jury to begin deliberating in prison riot trial

  WILMINGTON — The jury heard closing statements on Thursday in the ongoing trial to decide the fates of three of the 18 inmates charged with perpetrating the Vaughn prison riot last year that left Lt. Steven Floyd dead. After hearing strongly worded monologues from the prosecution and defense, the jury was excused for the […]

Inmate claims responsibility for planning prison riot

WILMINGTON — In a surprise twist Tuesday, one of the 18 inmates charged with perpetrating the deadly prison riot on Feb. 1, 2017, testified that he facilitated the entire uprising at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center. “This is me taking responsibility for the uprising — owning it,” Dwayne Staats said on the witness stand. On […]