Roman Shankaras Found Not Guilty On all Charges

Roman Shankaras, the eighth person to go on trial for the  Vaughn Prison Riot,  was acquitted of all charges Thursday.

in response to the verdict announced in the trial against Roman Shankaras, the eighth defendant to face trial for his involvement in the February 1, 2017 hostage event at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, Department of Correction Commissioner Perry Phelps offered the following statement:

“We thank the members of the jury for their time and service to the State of Delaware. The news is upsetting, but we continue to be appreciative of the Department of Justice and Delaware State Police who diligently worked a complex case.”

Original Story

The third murder trial stemming from the February 2017 Vaughn prison riot will begin on Monday.

Roman Shankaras, an inmate serving a seven-year sentence for riot and robbery will be tried for the murder of  Lt. Steven Floyd.

Shankaras, originally set to stand trial with the three others last year, was pulled from the ongoing trial by  Superior Court Judge William C. Carpenter Jr,

Carpenter felt the relationship between Shankaras and his attorney was hostile and may affect the trial of the other defendants. The judge telling the jury at the time that the removal was “based on circumstances that are not relevant to your decisions…”

At the beginning of that trial, prosecutors told the jury that Shankaras was a “mastermind” of the uprising but that was contradicted by his co-defendant. After Shankaras was removed from the trial, Dwayne Staats testified that he planned the attack, telling the jury that he wanted to overpower the guards to highlight prison conditions in Building C.

After almost four weeks of trail, Staats, already serving a life sentence,  was found guilty of first-degree felony murder, first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer, kidnapping, assault, and conspiracy.

Jarreau Ayers was found not guilty of the murder charges, however, he was found guilty of kidnapping, assault, and conspiracy.  The fourth defendant, Deric Forney was found not guilty of all charges and released by the judge.

Four other defendants in the Vaughn prison riot case faced trial earlier this year. The jury in that trial returned no guilty verdicts.

In March prosecutors announce that they had dropped the charges against six of the remaining inmates charged in connection with the Vaughn Prison riot.

Two other inmates charged in the case will go on trial later this year.


Another Inmate With Connections To Vaughn Prison Riot Found Dead