Prosecutors Drop Charges Against Inmates Facing Trial In Vaughn Prison Riot

Delaware prosecutors have dropped the charges against six of the inmates charged in connection with the Vaughn Prison riot.

Charges against Robert Hernandez and Corey Smith, two inmates set to face trial next month, have been dropped.

Prosecutors have also announced that Janiis Mathis, Pedro Chairez, Louis Sierra, and Jonatan Rodriguez will have the charges against them dropped as well.

Prosecutors will only continue forward with charges against Roman Shankaras, Lawrence Michaels, Alejandro Rodriguez-Ortiz, with Shankaras scheduled to be tried in April and Michaels and Rodriguez-Ortiz in October

A statement released Friday afternoon by the Delaware Attorney General’s Office announced the decision.

“Prosecutors have an obligation only to prosecute criminal cases where they believe there is a reasonable likelihood of a conviction at trial based on the evidence.

Prosecutors in the Vaughn trials, who are among the Department’s most experienced and who have done a remarkable job in an exceedingly difficult case, have evaluated the evidence against the remaining defendants in light of the testimony in the first two trials and the results of those trials.

Prosecutors have notified the Court that the State will only continue forward with charges against Roman Shankaras, Lawrence Michaels, Alejandro Rodriguez-Ortiz, with Shankaras scheduled to be tried in April and Michaels and Rodriguez-Ortiz in October.

Obtaining a measure of justice for victims is of paramount importance in all prosecution decisions. This was discussed with the victims in the case and they were informed of the decision.

Due to the still-pending criminal cases, DOJ will make no additional statement on this decision.”


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First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at desk@firststateupdate.com.

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