Sixteen inmates charged with murder in Delaware prison uprising

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 17, 2017 12:29 PM

A Delaware grand jury has indicted 16 prison inmates for first-degree murder over a February uprising during which a guard was killed and others taken hostage, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Prisoners seized Lieutenant Steven Floyd, two other corrections officers and a counselor during the Feb. 1-2 uprising at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center.

Floyd, 47, was found unresponsive after police stormed the prison's C building to end the standoff. The other guards were injured, while the counselor was unharmed.

A New Castle County grand jury handed up charges against a total of 18 inmates that include assault, kidnapping, riot and conspiracy, Delaware's Justice Department said in a statement.

A spokesman for the department said he had no information on whether the accused had legal representation.

The department's statement did not give a motive for the uprising. Officials said at the time that the prisoners were demanding better living conditions at the center, which houses about 2,500 inmates in Smyrna, some 40 miles (64 km) south of Wilmington.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Bernadette Baum; ian.simpson@thomsonreuters.com ; 202 789 8569) )