Justin Wolfe Moved Back to Death Row
The same judge who vacated all charges against Justin Michael Wolfe in July has ordered him back to death row just months after he was placed in administrative segregation at a state prison.
A judge has ordered Justin Michael Wolfe be returned to death row just three months after he was moved to Sussex II State Prison.
Wolfe was removed from death row on Sept. 7, once a murder-for-hire charge against him for the shooting death of Daniel Robert Petrole Jr. in Bristow was vacated in July.
Richmond Times-Dispatch is reporting that U.S. District Judge Raymond Jackson ordered Wolfe be removed from administrative segregation at the state prison because he found that Department of Corrections officials had violated federal law by not asking his permission before moving him from his cell on death row, and that the reasons given by officials for transferring Wolfe were "inconsistent."
The judge said Wolfe received harsher restrictions and a loss of privileges at his new location and that his position was worse than when he was on death row.
Department of Correction officials said Wolfe was placed in segregation and not in general population in part for his own protection due to the notoriety of the case.
Wolfe’s convictions for murder-for-hire, marijuana distribution and a gun charge related to the 2001 murder of Centreville's Daniel Robert Petrole Jr. at his Bristow townhome all were vacated by U.S. District Judge Raymond Jackson earlier this year.
Triggerman Owen Merton Barber IV, who testified in 2001 that Wolfe ordered the murder, told Jackson that Wolfe had nothing to do with the crime and that prosecutors – and even his own defense attorney – said he could only escape a capital trial by testifying against his former friend.
Wolfe is currently awaiting the state’s appeal to the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals seeking a reversal of Jackson’s order.
Wolfe has been on death row since 2002 after being sentenced in a Manassas courtroom.