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The Latest: Inmate’s wife says she knew he’d be acquitted

May 23, 2019
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FILE - This Feb. 1, 2017, file photo shows the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna, Del. A riot at the prison resulted in the murder of Lt. Steven Floyd, injuries to Correctional Officers Winslow Smith and Joshua Wilkinson, and the kidnapping of counselor Patricia May. A jury on Thursday, May 23, 2019, acquitted an inmate accused of leading the riot at Delaware's maximum-security prison. (Suchat Pederson/The Wilmington News-Journal via AP, File)

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — The Latest on the acquittal of an inmate accused of leading a fatal riot at Delaware’s maximum security prison (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

The wife of an inmate accused of leading a riot at Delaware’s maximum-security prison during which a guard was killed and other staffers taken hostage says she was confident that her husband would be acquitted.

Lillian Oliver says 32-year-old Roman Shankaras is not a murderer, and that she knew he’d be coming home.

A jury on Thursday acquitted Shankaras on all charges related to the 2017 riot and the death of prison guard Steven Floyd.

Shankaras recently completed a seven-year sentence for unrelated riot and robbery charges. He is expected to be released from custody by Friday.

Two previous trials against seven other inmates charged in the riot resulted in only one murder conviction.

Lead prosecutor John Downs had no comment as he left the courthouse.

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3 p.m.

A jury has acquitted an inmate accused of leading a riot at Delaware’s maximum-security prison during which a guard was killed and other staffers taken hostage.

Jurors deliberated over two days before acquitting 32-year-old Roman Shankaras on Thursday in the death of Steven Floyd.

Shankaras recently completed a seven-year sentence for unrelated riot and robbery charges. The acquittal spares him from a mandatory life sentence.

Shankaras is one of 18 inmates indicted after the 2017 riot, 16 of whom were charged with murder in Floyd’s death. Two guards were released by inmates after being beaten and tormented. A female counselor was held hostage for nearly 20 hours before tactical teams burst in and rescued her.

Two other trials against seven inmates resulted in only one murder conviction.

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