An inmate accused of being the mastermind behind the Vaughn Correctional Institution uprising and hostage taking was acquitted by a jury.
Roman Shankaraswas the eighth defendant to face trial for his involvement in the February 1, 2017 incident at the correctional center in southern New Castle County.
Other trials are in the works.
State Department of Correction Commissioner Perry Phelps issued 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.”
Prosecutors have been largely unsuccessful in gaining convictions in the uprising that led to the death of a correctional officer.
Gov. John Carney has stopped short of giving a vote of confidence in Phelps, who is under fire for a contracted drug treatment program in Sussex County.
The state has transferred up to 300 inmates to Pennsylvania in an effort to deal with staff shortages within the corrections systems that lead to expensive overtime and add to the risk of fatigue-related errors.