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Legal Ethics

AG Seeks Appellate Stay of Fed’l Order to Release Capital Murder Defendant Due to Va. Misconduct

Posted Jan 2, 2013 5:32 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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As a Thursday deadline nears for the Virginia to release a defendant in a capital murder case because of prosecutorial misconduct, the state's attorney general is seeking a federal appellate-court stay of a federal district judge's order to let Justin Wolfe go.

Although the two sides disagree about the parameters of the most recent ruling by U.S. District Judge Raymond Jackson in Norfolk, it appears that the ruling may require not only Wolfe's release but the dismissal of the case against him, the Associated Press reports.

Jackson found in a Dec. 24 ruling that Prince William County prosecutors coerced a star witness, Owen Barber, to give false testimony and withheld evidence from Wolfe's lawyers that would have helped the defense undermine the credibility of Barber.

An earlier ABAJournal.com post provides additional details.

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