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Second defendant in fatal prison riot opts to represent self

September 20, 2018

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — One of 18 Delaware inmates charged in a deadly prison riot last year has decided to represent himself after his court-appointed lawyer was forced to withdraw at the last minute because of a conflict of interest.

A judge granted Jarreau Ayers request Thursday but also appointed an attorney to assist him during his trial, which starts with jury selection Oct. 8.

Attorney Patrick Collins was forced to abruptly withdraw from representing Ayers after prosecutors waited until Aug. 30 to give him the names of witnesses they expect to call, one of whom was previously represented by Collins.

Ayers is the second inmate charged in the riot to decide to represent himself. The other, Dwayne Staats, is also among the first group of four inmates to be tried.

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