Federal judge orders Va. death row inmate’s release

Posted at 10:21 PM, Dec 27, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-27 23:24:40-05

(WTVR) -- A federal judge has ordered a Virginia man who has spent more than a decade on death row be released from prison within ten days.

Justin Wolfe was convicted in a murder-for-hire scheme and sentenced to death row 10 years ago for the killing of Daniel Petrole.

Last year, a federal judge overturned the conviction, ruling Prince William County prosecutors hid evidence that would have undermined their case.

The convicted triggerman also recanted his testimony implicating Wolfe.

The judge ordered Wolfe to be retried within 120 days, but that did not happen. As a result, the judge ordered Wolfe to be released and has barred a retrial.

Wolfe's mother said she is hopeful her son will be home soon.

"Getting him home... it's going to go too quickly" Terri Steinberg said. "We've waited for it for so long and I know that by the time we get him home, it will be wonderful. It will be so good to put peace back in my home again."

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is filing an appeal of the judge's decision.

Wolfe's next hearing is scheduled for next Wednesday.