Thirty-one members of the legal community, including former prosecutors and judges from across the country, have signed a letter asking a Prince William County Circuit Court judge to remove a special prosecutor appointed to oversee a capital murder case.
The letter was circulated by the District-based Constitution Project, which advocates on a host of issues relating to the U.S. Constitution. It asks Circuit Court Judge Mary Grace O’Brien to find a replacement in the case of Justin Michael Wolfe, who is charged in the 2001 slaying of Daniel Petrole Jr. in Bristow.
The prosecution of that case by the office of Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul B. Ebert (D) has come under fire by a federal appeals court, which vacated Wolfe’s original conviction and asked that he be retried because, a judge ruled, Ebert’s office had not properly turned over evidence to defense attorneys.
O’Brien has been asked to replace special prosecutor Raymond F. Morrogh, who is Fairfax County’s commonwealth’s attorney, because Ebert recommended that he get the job after his office stepped aside. The letter from the Constitution Project criticized Morrogh for saying he would pursue the capital murder charges after being appointed less than a day earlier.