Prosecutors defend actions in capital retrial
MANASSAS, Va. (AP) - Prosecutors are defending their conduct in pursuing new capital murder charges against an alleged northern Virginia drug dealer whose initial death sentence was overturned on accusations of prosecutorial misconduct.
Justin Wolfe was convicted a decade ago of orchestrating a murder for hire of a drug dealer. But federal courts overturned the conviction and death sentence after ruling that prosecutors failed to turn over key evidence and after the alleged hit man recanted his testimony.
Defense lawyers want the retrial tossed out as well. They say prosecutors tried earlier this year to get the hit man, Owen Barber, to change his story again by threatening to put him on death row.
In court papers, prosecutors said the meeting with Barber was legitimate and that they asked Barber to tell the truth.