CRIME

Justin Wolfe may be released from prison

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Getting Justin Wolfe back is nearing a reality.

Justin Wolfe

After 10 years in solitary confinement at a Virginia prison, the Prince William County man escaped the death penalty last month after Judge Raymond Jackson vacated the order, saying the case was full of holes, including from the gunman, who claims Wolfe hired him to kill a man, then changed his testimony, then changed it again.

"I've always believed in Justin's innocence, he has never wavered in his story from day one,” said his mother Terri Steinberg.

But Steinberg's fight was hardly over. Wolfe faced decades for drug and weapons charges from the same, possibly tainted case. On Tuesday, Jackson again ruled that barring appeal, Wolfe should be let go.

Prosecutors stand by their claims and are ready to retry Wolfe if he's freed.

"I respectfully disagree with the court's decision." said Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert. "I'm certainly disappointed. It shows faults in our judicial system."

Now it's a waiting game.

The Attorney General's Office is appealing a judge's ruling throwing out Wolfe's murder-for-hire conviction in the 2001 death of his marijuana supplier, Daniel Petrole, in Prince William County.Or could drop the case altogether.

"To see him come through the door, what would that be like? I don't know,” Steinberg said. “I don't know how to describe it, it would be the end of a horrible nightmare and the beginning of trying to regroup and put my family back together."

 

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