A Prince William County man will again face the possibility of a death sentence, the case’s new prosecutor said Friday, dashing hopes of the man’s supporters that a capital murder charge would be dropped after a federal appeals court vacated the original conviction.
Justin Michael Wolfe, 31, has been behind bars for more than 11 years after being charged with ordering the killing of Daniel R. Petrole Jr., who was shot nine times outside his Bristow townhouse in March 2001. According to authorities, Petrole, 21, was part of a marijuana organization that included Wolfe, and Wolfe owed Petrole tens of thousands of dollars when Petrole was killed.
Wolfe’s attorney, Matthew Engle of the University of Virginia Innocence Project, said in Prince William Circuit Court on Friday that he thought it was “extremely unlikely that this will be able to go forward with capital murder charges.”
But the newly appointed special prosecutor, Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh (D), indicated that he would pursue a capital murder case. A trial date was set for Oct. 15. “It seems clear to me this defendant was absolutely involved in this murder,” Morrogh said.