Justin Wolfe Will Likely be Retried in Murder-for-Hire Case
A Prince William County prosecutor indicated on Monday that his office will retry Justin Wolfe, a former death row inmate.
A Prince William County prosecutor on Monday indicated that his office would retry Justin Wolfe, a Chantilly man who spent over a decade on death row before his conviction was vacated.
"It does need to be set for trial," Richard Conway, an assistant commonwealth's attorney, told Judge Mary Grace O'Brien at a hearing Monday in Prince William County Circuit Court.
Wolfe will next appear in court on Friday, where his lawyers will make a motion to let him out on bail. The retrial date will also be set at Friday's hearing.
"It's not what I hoped," Terri Steinberg, Wolfe's mother, said after the hearing. "I'm shocked, shocked."
The news comes just one month after a federal appeals court confirmed the vacation of Wolfe's sentence. Both the appeals court and a lower court have issued stinging rebukes of Commonwealth's Attorney Paul Ebert and Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Richard Conway, calling their conduct “abhorrent to the judicial process."
“The Commonwealth’s capital murder case against Wolfe can best be described as tenuous,” U.S. District Court Judge Raymond Jackson wrote in his order vacating Wolfe's sentence. “A review of the trial proceedings unveiled witness testimony replete with hearsay and speculation.”
Deirdre Enright, a lawyer with the Innocence Project, agreed.
"We have reviewed all of the evidence at the Innocence Project, and we don't think there's anything to go forward. We don't think there's a case," said Enright.
Outside the courtroom, Conway declined to elaborate, but said, "We're in the process of going forward with this case."