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Legal Proceedings Come to a Close in Delaware Prison Riot


WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - The long courtroom saga stemming from a deadly prison riot in Delaware is coming to a close.

Three inmates face sentencing Friday for their roles in the 2017 riot, during which one guard was killed and two others beaten and tormented. A female counselor was held hostage for nearly 20 hours before being rescued.

Eighteen inmates were charged in the riot, including 16 with murder.

The only guilty verdicts prosecutors obtained came against two inmates who represented themselves at trial. Self-proclaimed riot leader Dwayne Staats is already serving life for murder. He faces another life sentence for Steven Floyd's killing.

Jarreau Ayers was acquitted of Floyd's death but convicted of riot, kidnapping, assault, and conspiracy. He is also serving life for murder.

Convicted murderer and star prosecution witness Royal Downs faces sentencing for riot.

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.