Man Serving Life Sentence For 1st Degree Murder Dies With COVID

The Delaware Department of Correction (DOC) today announced that James Waller, a 75-year-old inmate with underlying health conditions from James T. Vaughn Correctional Center (JTVCC), died this afternoon, April 30 at Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus from complications from heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and COVID.

Waller was part of a minimum security housing unit that has been closely monitored since April 8, with twice-daily temperature checks and proactive COVID-19 testing that returned a negative result.
When Waller registered a fever on April 26, he was immediately moved to the prison infirmary and a rapid COVID test was administered, which was returned positive.

He was admitted to Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus later that same day. In recent days Waller’s condition deteriorated and he had been receiving palliative care since April 29. Waller’s body has been released to the Delaware Division of Forensic Science, which will determine the cause of death.

Waller, of Laurel, DE, has been in DOC custody since 1978 and was serving a life sentence for 1st Degree Murder.

Read more about the murder case here.


About Staff Writer

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 [email protected].

View all posts by Staff Writer →