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Appeals court halts release of accused killer page 2

Date published: 1/4/2013


In 2011, Jackson tossed out the conviction and death sentence against Wolfe, who at one point had been just five days from execution.

Last year prosecutors filed new capital-murder charges against Wolfe, and the original prosecutor, Prince William County Commonwealth's Attorney Paul Ebert, recused himself from the case. But in September, before he recused himself, Ebert and an assistant made a jailhouse visit to Barber trying to ascertain why he changed his story. In that visit, they informed Barber that he could face the death penalty himself for renouncing his initial testimony.

Jackson viewed the jailhouse visit as a thinly veiled threat that compounded the earlier misconduct by prosecutors. On Dec. 24, he ordered Wolfe freed and barred the state from pursuing its prosecution of Wolfe.

The new prosecutor, Ray Morrogh, said he has reviewed all the evidence and is convinced that Barber's initial testimony was truthful. He also said he has hard evidence to prove that Barber was lying when he testified on Wolfe's behalf before Judge Jackson in Norfolk.

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