Appeals Court Bars Release of Justin Wolfe

Thursday, Jan 3, 2013  |  Updated 7:28 PM EDT
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A federal appeals court has intervened to halt the release of a capital-murder defendant who had been slated to go free.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond on Thursday granted a stay sought by Virginia's attorney general. The move delays an order from a federal judge for the unconditional release of Justin Wolfe, who is facing death-penalty charges for the 2001 slaying of a northern Virginia drug dealer.

The district court judge had said the state's prosecution of Wolfe was irreparably harmed by prosecutors' misconduct in allegedly coercing testimony from a key witness.

Prosecutors said they acted properly.

The appeals court in Richmond plans to hear the issue in full at the end of the month.

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