Inmates Sentenced In Fatal Vaughn Prison Riot

A Superior Court judge sentenced three inmates Friday for their roles in the 2017 Vaughn prison riot, which resulted in the murder of correctional officer Lt. Steven Floyd.

Dwayne Staats, 37, sentenced to two life sentences in prison plus 153 years for his conviction on 2 counts of Murder First Degree, Riot, 2 counts of Assault First Degree, 4 counts of Kidnapping First Degree, and Conspiracy Second Degree.

Jarreau Ayers, 38, sentenced to 123 years for his conviction on Riot, 2 counts of Assault First Degree, and 4 counts of Kidnapping First Degree, and Conspiracy Second Degree.

Royal Downs, 54, sentenced to 3 years for his guilty plea to Riot to be served at the conclusion on his life sentence in Maryland.

All three of the defendants were already serving terms of life in prison for previous Murder First Degree convictions.

Delaware Department of Correction Commissioner Claire DeMatteis made the following statement following today’s sentencing.

“Although today’s sentencing brings some measure of accountability for the crimes committed on February 1, 2017, those who have been impacted feel strongly that under the circumstances no sentence handed down today can fully serve the interests of justice or lessen the pain and loss felt by the Floyd family who has forever lost a husband, father, brother and son. The Department of Correction family has come together today to support the Floyd family and our colleagues who continue to feel deeply the loss of a respected correctional officer and friend.  Lt. Floyd’s service and his sacrifice are never far from our hearts and minds. 

In his honor, today and every day, we recognize the incredibly demanding, difficult and dangerous job of supervising offenders in our correctional system and honor the exceptional men and women of the Delaware Department of Correction who do that work with professionalism and excellence every day.”