Policy: Law

Appeals court halts release of Virginia capital-murder defendant Wolfe

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Local,Virginia,Crime,Naomi Jagoda,Law,Death Penalty

Barely an hour before Justin Michael Wolfe was to be released from custody, a federal appeals court in Richmond stayed an order that required him to be set free, to the Associated Press is reporting.

Wolfe had been convicted in Prince William County of capital murder the 2001 slaying of his marijuana supplier and was sentenced to death. But Wolfe's conviction was tossed out in 2011 because he was denied his due-process rights when prosecutors withheld information from his lawyers and because prosecutors had used false testimony from a key witness.

Last week, a federal judge ordered that Wolfe be released by Thursday and not retried. A Prince William County Circuit Court judge had said she would release Wolfe at 5 p.m. Thursday unless the appeals court intervened.

Arguments before the appeals court are scheduled for the court's session being held from Jan. 28 to Feb. 1.

njagoda@washingtonexaminer.com

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