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Superintendent Colonel Melissa Zebley


*Update-Suspect Arrested* Delaware State Police Conducting Homicide Investigation at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center- Smyrna


Date Posted: Wednesday, May 12th, 2021

Smyrna- The Delaware State Police have arrested 55-year-old John Cameron of Claymont, DE, for murder.

The incident occurred on Monday, May 10, 2021, at approximately 08:13 a.m., when troopers responded to the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center located at 1181 Paddock Road, Smyrna, for a reported homicide.  Investigation has determined Cameron attacked a 69-year-old inmate, later identified as Philip Langell of Newark, DE, with whom he shares a cell.

Langell sustained injuries to head, face, and neck area consistent with multiple strikes from a closed fist. Langell also sustained an apparent stab wound from a distinctive edged instrument. Langell was pronounced deceased at the scene.

As a result of the autopsy, Langell’s cause of death was attributed to the injuries sustained to head and neck from the attack, as well as asphyxiation. The stab wound was not a contributing factor.

On Wednesday, May 12, 2021, at 09:00 a.m., the Delaware State Police Homicide Unit responded to James T. Vaughn Correction Center and executed an arrest warrant on Defendant-John Cameron for the murder of Philip Langell. Included in the warrant was a single count of Murder 1st Degree.

Cameron was arraigned in the Justice of the Peace Court #2 and remained in the custody of the Department of Correction on $1,000,000 cash bond.

Deputy Bureau Chief of Prisons, Paul G. Shavack advised John Cameron is currently serving a life sentence for Murder 1st Degree and the Victim-Phillip Langell was serving a 20-year sentence for Rape 1st Degree Victim Under 12 years of age.

If you or someone you know is a victim or witness of crime or have lost a loved one to a sudden death and are in need of assistance, the Delaware State Police Victim Services Unit/Delaware Victim Center is available to offer you support and resources 24 hours a day through a toll free hotline 1800 VICTIM-1. (1-800-842-8461). You may also email the unit Director at debra.reed@state.de.us.

Delaware State Police Conducting Homicide Investigation at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center- Smyrna

Delaware State Police Conducting Death Investigation at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center- Smyrna

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Presented by Public Information Officer, Corporal/1 Jason Hatchell

Released: 051221 1409

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