Sentencing for 3 Vaughn Inmates Involved in 2017 Prison Riot


Image courtesy DOJ/DOC

Three inmates have been sentenced for their roles in the 2017 Vaughn prison riot that resulted in the murder of Correctional Officer Lt. Steven Floyd.  Dwayne Staats was sentenced to 2 life sentences plus 153 years.  The 37 year old Staats was the only inmate found guilty of 2 counts of murder and other offenses.  Jarreau Ayers, 38, has been sentenced to 123 years for his conviction of riot, 2 counts of 1st degree assault, 4 counts of 1st degree  kidnapping and 54 year old Royal Downs was sentenced to 3 years for a guilty plea to riot, which will be served at the conclusion of his life sentence in Maryland. All three were already serving terms of life in prison for previous 1st degree murder convictions.

Attorney General Jennings released the following statement after the sentencing:

“We are grateful for the hard work that prosecutors, investigators and staff did to find those responsible for the riot and to present the strongest case that the State could under tremendously difficult circumstances. Above all else we continue to think of the Floyd family, Patricia May, Winslow Smith, Joshua Wilkinson, and the staff of the Department of Correction, all of whom have suffered incredible grief and endured a long, arduous process over the last 31 months.”