Correction Enterprises Manager Veronica Skinner Darden

Correction Enterprises Manager Veronica Skinner Darden

North Carolina Department of Public Safety - Division of Prisons, North Carolina

End of Watch Thursday, October 12, 2017

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Veronica Skinner Darden

Correction Enterprises Manager Veronica Darden, Correctional Officer Justin Smith, and Correctional Officer Wendy Shannon were killed during an escape attempt from the Pasquotank Correctional Institute at approximately 3:00 pm.

On October 12th, 2017, several inmates ignited a fire inside the prison's Specialty Sewing Plant as a diversion. The inmates then attacked responding corrections officers with hammers and scissors obtained in the sewing plant. Prison personnel and responding fire department crews were able to bring the fire under control and prevent the escape.

Officer Shannon was transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital where she passed away on October 30th, 2017.

Four inmates were charged with first-degree murder as a result of the incident. The Pasquotank district attorney said he would be seeking the death penalty against all four.

The first of the four inmates was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder on October 21, 2019. A week later he was sentenced to death. The 23-year-old had been serving a 24-year sentence since 2013 for attempted murder after he shot a North Carolina State Trooper in Durham four times, twice in the face, after he pulled him over for a seat belt violation. He was wanted in Vermont for violating his parole after he served 18 months of a two-year sentence for more than 100 burglaries including one in which he stabbed a woman several times. After he shot the trooper it was discovered he was making a bomb when his Durham apartment was searched. A map of the Raleigh-Durham area was found nearby with circles on it of all the police departments. He received a 40-year sentence in federal prison. The trooper recovered and returned to duty.

Correction Manager Darden had served with the North Carolina Division of Prisons for 10 years.


  • Age 50
  • Tour 10 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Assault
  • Weapon Blunt object
  • Offender Guilty of first-degree murder

arson, escape attempt

Most Recent Reflection

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I remember well the day this happened. I remember being told by Patricia Parks that Veronica and others had been assaulted. How could I forget? I won't even try. I use her extraordinary and short-lived life to work harder each and every day to put a dent in our NC recidivism rate. It is the least I can do for someone who gave so much for so many. I will forever attempt to make a difference to promote public safety by the administration of a fair and humane system that affords the adjudicated offender reasonable opportunities to develop progressive behavior. I know she did this every day. She is in a better place and this is what truly matters the most. Protecting our communities, staff and inmates should be our greatest concern to prevent this ever happening again.

Michael Lockamy, Reentry
Correction Enterprises

December 31, 2019

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