UPDATED: Verdict in Vaughn Trial – One Guilty of Murder


Lt Steven Floyd

Lt Steven Floyd
Died in JTVCC Hostage Incident
Image courtesy DE DOC

UPDATED – 4:55pm – After nearly three days of deliberations, the jury in the trial of three inmates charged in the deadly Vaughn prison riot has reached a verdict.  According to the News Journal, Dwayne Staats was found guilty of 1st degree murder of Correctional Officer Lt. Steven Floyd and other charges.  Jarreau Ayers was found guilty of riot and other offenses, but not guilty on the 1st degree murder charges.   Deric Forney was found not guilty of all charges.  These are the first three inmates of 18 who will be tried in through the spring.

Judge Carpenter will determine sentencing at a later date.

Image courtesy DOJ

In response to the verdicts rendered in the cases of Jarreau Ayers, Dwayne Staats and Deric Forney, the first three defendants to face trial for their involvement in the February 1, 2017 hostage event at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, DOC Commissioner Phelps offered the following statement:

“The DOC family will never be the same, but the news today is a long-awaited step toward healing and closure. We extend our most sincere gratitude to the members of the jury who put their lives and families on hold to thoughtfully listen to and evaluate the evidence presented to them. We are grateful for the efforts of the Delaware State Police and the Department of Justice who successfully and tirelessly pursued justice on behalf of our fallen officer. The DOC is and always will be: One Family, One Team.”


WGMD has learned that the jury in Wilmington has reached a verdict in the trial of the first 3 men on trial for the murder and kidnapping of correctional officers at the Vaughn Correctional Institution which left Lt. Steven Floyd dead. We’re waiting for all parties to return to the courtroom.  WGMD will have more information as it becomes available.