Wolfe Appeal Granted, Conviction Vacated

Chantilly man was on death row for a decade; triggerman recanted testimony against Wolfe.

Justin Michael Wolfe’s conviction and death sentence related to the 2001 murder of Daniel Robert Petrole Jr. has been vacated. The decision comes in response to a hearing last fall in which the triggerman in the case

The court found: “Wolfe was denied the right to due process pursuant to the Fourteenth Amendment as interpreted in Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), to be apprised of all material, exculpatory information within the hands of the prosecution.” 

Wolfe’s attorneys had that could have cleared Wolfe prior to his trial in January 2001.

A Prince William County jury convicted and sentenced Wolfe. Some jurors signed affidavits saying they felt cajoled into finding Wolfe guilty.

More to come.

Libby July 12, 2011 at 08:50 PM
Carol Ann: There is someone serving a prison sentence for the slaying of the victim. The same guy that is serving that sentence, who was the primary witness for the prosecution, signed an affidavit admitting that he made up Justin's involvement to save his own skin.
Rennie Frank July 12, 2011 at 08:51 PM
Carol those loopholes you're talking about are called constitutional rights. I think you need to re-read this article. Wolfe was innocent of the charge. Innocent people go to prison all the time Carol ... that's not a system I want to live with.
Karma Wins July 12, 2011 at 08:52 PM
Watch your back Carol Ann, one day you could end up in prison facing the death penalty because someone lied to cover their own backs. Imagine if he had died at the hands of the "justice" system.... would his death have been acceptable so vengeance could be served?
Mary Stachyra Lopez July 12, 2011 at 09:00 PM
Just a quick reminder that we ask readers not to post comments under aliases. Thanks for reading!
Iain Ashby July 12, 2011 at 09:01 PM
As a Brit I find the american judicial system complex & sometimes balanced in favour of the criminal but Carol, this man was proven innocent....whats with the "lynch someone, anyone will do" attitude...he has lost 10 years of his life that no one nor any amount of compensation can ever replace. How many innocent people have been incarcerated or executed wrongly over there yet blinkered fools like you still spout vengeful crap !!
Joanne Royston Ⓥ July 12, 2011 at 09:11 PM
This is really great news.I'm so happy for Justin and his family. Lovelier people you could not meet :))
roy July 12, 2011 at 09:37 PM
RIP Danny
PG July 12, 2011 at 10:58 PM
Danny Petrole Live On Live On! Seems like the justice system back fired. Just another example of an imperfect justice system. Hopefully the truth will come out one day. Miss you Danny!
Truth July 13, 2011 at 03:14 AM
Truth July 13, 2011 at 03:16 AM
You guys do realize he would have served this time anyway?? He was also convicted for drug charges. 35 years. BUT, it is good that they have wiped away the death penalty and murder chargers.
Cheryl Lynn Masella-Carter July 13, 2011 at 11:10 AM
I find it ridiculous that a person can be charged and found guilty of murder on manufactured evidence and testimony by the prosecution and the DA gets off scott free!! It's all about Ebert's ego and "rush to judgement" because the victim was the son of a former government VIP. I say we should start a petition to the prosecution saying we don't want our tax dollars wasted re-trying this case because the prosecutor doesn't want to admit he did wrong.
Mary Stachyra Lopez July 13, 2011 at 01:08 PM
We welcome your comments on this topic. However, I'd like to post a reminder once more that when you create an account with Patch, you agree to abide by our terms of use, which prohibits the use of aliases. You can read the terms here: centreville.patch.com/terms.
robertdogs July 13, 2011 at 03:52 PM
If you did read the whole option you find that in laymen terms the prosecutor lied cheated and stole this case in front of a jury.And pointed out that the head prosector has no integrity whats so ever.
Bill August 29, 2011 at 05:21 PM
I've watched the 48 hours show of this case 100 times and I am always SHOCKED that they gave Justin the death penalty that is absolutely ridiculous. Even if he did what they said he did, how does the trigger man ever get less time then the guy who hired him? I think someone who can actually kill another person is more evil then someone that wants someone else dead. Anyways I don't think they had enough evidence for a conviction. However I still haven't heard a reason from Justin as to why Owen made those calls to him the night of the murder. Although even if owen called justin and told him he just killed Danny the doesn't mean Justin told him to or hired him to do it. That's what Justins lawyers should have said, that justin knew about the murder plot but had nothing to do with it. Bottom line is they didnt have enough evidence to convict him and he's done enough time for the pot. Let him go.
Disgruntled Illinois Citizen August 29, 2011 at 05:40 PM
I grew up in a town in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago and we had the same background of these kids. Weed was the norm and social life evolved around it. Kids like Owen were in the outskirts and knew it. In his testimony did anyone notice his body language, the constant looking down? Classic behavior analysis 101...LYING. And those two old prosecutors...come on...they were bullies who had trained many many years in their "craft". I call it that because I think they are just glorified actors. This case was dealt with wrong from the beginning to end and I think Justin has learned along this road. I believe in his innocence. Our "justice system" and many affiliated with it are corrupt. -Graduate of 1997
Becky Shultz-Legros August 30, 2011 at 07:12 AM
I don't think that 12 people should be allowed to play GOD there is only one GOD and he should be the one to decide when it's time!!!! I do not believe in the death penalty. My brother was killed intentionally and the person who killed him told the judge that they did and and did not have any remorse for doing it (all though it did not have to do with drugs or any other criminal activities) I still do not wish that person dead because everyone will meet their maker in due time and he knows the truth and how to hand out their just punishments!!!!!!!!
N. P. McKee November 19, 2011 at 04:30 PM
I just now saw the 48 Hours on ID rerun.. I'm usually a good read of faces, and I believe Justin was railroaded in the worst way: almost to death!.. I had to look and find a site that would update the status, and I'm happy to find that 4 months ago, things began to look much better for Justin.... The love of a mother, the relentless sleepless repetative work that went into this... No matter what Justin actually did do in the drug world, I think if he got to live again, he'd make his life a campaign to derail as many youngsters as one voice can, to see another way...This was heartbreaking to many of us that never met anyone involved... How their loved ones have coped would have to be heaven sent.
bobbie February 03, 2012 at 08:10 AM
this kid was railroaded by the d a in the worst way his attorney didnt help him at all people need to help this kid before he spends his life in prison , this is a sad shame in this world you get busted for some thing and you know your going to prison for a very long time you say some one else did it and bingo you get a lighter sentence and the other person who was not even there gets the worst part of the sentence to death this is such a out rage JUSTIN WOLF is a man wrongly convicted of this crime
Jay Vance February 03, 2012 at 08:28 AM
Just watched the investigation discovery replay of the 48 Hr special.... What a joke! The death penalty... Really???'! I will say Justin didn't help himself in court but who could expect a scared 20 year old who's dirty pot dealing laundry is on display to be anything else other than lost. How does his idiot lawyer not just rip that Own kid's story apart.... How does Justin not create resonable doubt on why Own is calling him before & after the murder? Why did he never say what those calls we're about? Maybe he called as a cover up? Maybe he called and told Justin what he was doing/did? That doesn't make Justin guilty of murder nor deserve the death penalty. Own needs to be on death row! Justin has served enough time for dealing weed & paid a lifetime of debt for being stupid I say let him go. I would also like to send my condolences to Danny's friends and family. What happend to your friend and son is horrific and I would hope that Own pays for what he has done. To the jury and the Manassas court system you all should be ashamed but more than that those over zealous prosecuters should be stoned for there careless handling of these young men's lives!
Karissa Ski May 18, 2012 at 06:05 PM
I agree to Jay Vance 100%. Have they let that kid go yet? Its May 18, 2012
Amber July 13, 2012 at 10:40 AM
As of the calls being made around the time of death to Justin from Owen. Justin was a pot dealer!!!!! Owen got crappy cheap weed and maybe he wanted to get high on good weed or maybe he was trying to get a better connection to sell better pot! And just used Justin and the phone calls as a way to blame him for something he didn't do. Thats what's wrong with the system these days! I was sexually assaulted as a child by my step father and we took him to court over it and they didn't believe me and they said I was young and didn't understand. They let him go with no jail time... Not a thing. There are people out there who really deserve prison time or the death penalty... But at least have real hard physical evidence!!! Not just a phone call list! He was a drug dealer for christ sakes!!!
Jason Post July 24, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Just watched the 48 Hours on ID about Justin for the second time. I'm completely convinced that Justin's lawyer did nothing to actually help his client or raise any reasonable doubt. I'm glad to hear the conviction has been vacated but I'd really like to know what the latest info is with Justin? Has there been any talk of a release date?
Jim July 24, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Just watched it as well. What a dumb jury!! You don't send someone to the chair based only on one man's testimony. I'm from Texas AND I support the penalty HOWEVER there better be a damn good reason to put someone there. Glad to know Justin's conviction was vacated, Feds heard the case in May. Have they ruled yet??
Mary Stachyra Lopez July 24, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Here is a link to Patch's most recent story on Justin Wolfe, published in May: http://patch.com/A-txm4 And here is a link to full coverage of the Wolfe case over the past year and a half: http://centreville.patch.com/topics/Justin+Wolfe That's all we have right now. If you would like to get an alert in your inbox when there is another update on this story, please click the "keep me posted" button at the bottom of the article.
Carissa Kelly July 24, 2012 at 04:50 PM
I Just watched the story on ID as well. I was blown away by the shooters testimony. He couldn't even look up which is a sure sign of lying. I was astonished that the jury believed him over Justin. I think Justin should be set free. He has served enough time, if not too much time for the drug charges. I felt it in my gut that Justin was telling the truth. He never looked away when asked the question. This is such an outrage of what we all a justice system. So many lies in this case by so called witnesses that just wanted to save their own butts. How do they sleep at night? It's disturbing. Free Justin!!
Vicki Hopper August 14, 2012 at 03:12 AM
I just watch the 48 Hour show and an convinced Justin isn't guilty! Our judicial system did not do him any justice. Where is the mystery man! Find him and since the guy that did the shooting recounted his story - Let Justin go!
Trey C. August 14, 2012 at 06:34 AM
Still just numb after watching this case on I.D. & it's a scary thing to know you can be put to death because of the lying testimony of the coward who really did murder this young man. If the phone calls were made that close to each other did it show the length of the call? Did they ever consider that maybe Owen was just calling Justin to help put his story together when he was planning this thing out? I say Justin has served more than enough time for the drug charges after spending all of his time behind bars in a cell on death row!!! Set this man free where he can try & put the pieces of his life back together. As for the jury, what a piss poor job they did. Did they even look at anything while deciding his guilt? One hour is all they spent on a three week trail? Really? Set him free!!!!!!!!! God Bless & wishing you all the best.
Shauree Atkinson August 14, 2012 at 05:15 PM
hello, i just saw the tail end of this story on 48 hours, and wanted to get some more information. i went to a website and it didnt give me the full story. not sure what happened, but if this kid is really in jail for a crime he did not commit, then forget all the comments, we need to do something. first, is there somewhere i can read the full story, and also, is there a petition somewhere for us to sign?
Mary Stachyra Lopez August 16, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Hi Shauree, you can read the latest update, that just came in today: http://patch.com/A-wYSC For more background information, I recommend that you visit this page, which has a full list of Patch coverage on the Justin Wolfe case: http://centreville.patch.com/topics/Justin+Wolfe
MAD In PWC, Va. August 17, 2012 at 08:19 AM
My son was convicted and sentenced to 4 1/2 years for Involuntary Manslaughter for a car accident that his best friend was a passenger, the family knew Paul Ebert and said the sqeaky wheel gets the oil, It is not what you know if life, It's who you know, Keep them close, never know when you are going to need them. My sons case is under Appeal as the prosecutors office knowingly allowed false testimony by their key witness and not turning over evidence to the defense. There seems to be a pattern here in Prince William County and someone needs to look into it. How can this little county have sent more people to death row than any other county in Virginia? Like my son's case....so many questions...but no factual answers....


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