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Del. indicts 18 inmates in deadly prison riot

The DOC charged 16 of the inmates with first-degree murder, assault and kidnapping


Associated Press

DOVER, Del. — Delaware has indicted eighteen inmates in a deadly riot and hostage-taking at the state's maximum-security prison, most of them on murder charges.

The Delaware Department of Justice announced the indictments Tuesday, charging 16 of the inmates with first-degree murder, assault and kidnapping. Two others are charged with kidnapping, riot and conspiracy.

More State Troopers arrive on scene as all Delaware prisons went on lockdown late Wednesday due to a hostage situation unfolding Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Del. (Suchat Pederson/The Wilmington News-Journal via AP)
More State Troopers arrive on scene as all Delaware prisons went on lockdown late Wednesday due to a hostage situation unfolding Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Del. (Suchat Pederson/The Wilmington News-Journal via AP)

In February, inmates seized four hostages and took control of a building at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center. The riot resulted in the murder of Lieutenant Steven Floyd, injuries to Correctional Officers Winslow Smith and Joshua Wilkinson, and the kidnapping of counselor Patricia May.

The indictments were issued Monday by a New Castle County grand jury. All of those charged are currently in Delaware prisons. 

Eleven of the 18 inmates charged are already doing time for murder or manslaughter. Four of them are already serving life sentences.

"This was an extremely important and time-consuming investigation that involved unique challenges." Attorney General Matt Denn said in the statement. "I appreciate the police and prosecutors' focus on ensuring that justice is done for the victims in this case and their families."

Because the investigation continues and court rules restrict prosecutors' ability to publicly discuss criminal matters ahead of trial, police and prosecutors will have no further comment, the statement said.

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