A circuit court judge in Prince William County has ordered the release of Justin Michael Wolfe at 5 p.m. Thursday pending a stay from federal courts.
Wolfe was sentenced for the 2001 murder of Daniel Robert Petrole Jr., but that conviction was vacated by the federal courts after trigger man Owen Merton Barber IV in November 2010 recanted his 2002 trial testimony that Wolfe ordered the murder.
The state has filed an appeal to the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals as well as a motion to vacate the federal order of Wolfe's release. In addition, special prosecutor Ray Morrogh indicated that if the appeals court denies the request, the state plans to to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Unless the federal courts step in, Wolfe will be released Thursday.
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