Defense attorneys Wednesday will ask a Prince William Circuit Court judge to release Justin Wolfe, who is awaiting a retrial on murder and drug charges related to the 2001 death of a Bristow man.
Wolfe is facing charges of capital murder, first-degree murder, drug distribution and using a firearm in commission of a felony for the death of Daniel Petrole, Jr., who was shot outside his Bristow townhouse in 2001, according to online court records.
A judge is slated to hear arguments on a bond motion seeking Wolfe's release.
Prosecutors believe that Wolfe ordered Petrole’s death as part of a large drug enterprise Wolfe ran in Northern Virginia at the time. At Wolfe’s first trial, the gunman, Owen Barber, testified that Wolfe hired him to kill Petrole, but Barber later recanted that testimony.
A jury in Prince William Circuit Court in 2002 convicted Wolfe of capital murder and sentenced him to death.
In 2012, a federal judge vacated Wolfe’s convictions, his death sentence and his sentences on other related charges. The judge ruled that Wolfe should be retried or released.
Prosecutors have decided to retry Wolfe, seeking the death penalty again.
A new trial date has not yet been set and Wolfe is being held at the Prince William-Manassas regional jail.
In an email, Wolfe’s mother, Terri Steinberg said she is hopeful that the judge will grant defense attorney’s motion to release her son on bond.
“My son’s defense team is prepared to present considerable evidence that Justin should be released now, after nearly 13 years in prison, most of it in isolation on death row,” she said. “Hopefully, the trial team will be able to present the considerable evidence that Justin is an ideal candidate for bond – he has a warm and caring family, both nuclear and extended, a good home and the opportunity to work. There will be ample evidence that he has been an ideal inmate all 13 years with not a single infraction, and evidence that he is not a flight risk.”
The bond hearing is set for 10 a.m. Wednesday in Prince William Circuit Court.