Culpeper Sheriff Advised Not to Discuss Hash Case

Special prosecutor to decide whether case should be retried

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    Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins has been "strongly advised" not to discuss the controversial Michael Wayne Hash murder case out of worry that it would jeopardize Hash's right to a fair retrial.

    Jenkins had planned to hold a press conference in Culpeper Sunday afternoon to discuss his role in the case. According to News4's Seth Lemon, Jenkins' press conference lasted about 20 minutes, during which he claimed that U.S. District Judge James C. Turk made his decision from the Hash's side of the story.

    Last month, a federal judge threw out Hash's 2001 conviction for the 1996 murder of Thelma Scroggins, citing extreme police and prosecutorial misconduct. The reversal led to the resignation of Culpeper County's Commonwealth's Attorney Gary Close, which went into effect March 13.

    In a letter to Jenkins dated Friday, Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh -- who is serving as a special prosecutor in the case -- wrote "I strongly advise you not to hold a press conference wherein you discuss, in any way, the particulars of this case including the investigation or your opinions with respect to any of these matters."

    Hash is currently free on bond, while Morrogh must decide whether Hash should be retried or set free. According to the ruling by Turk, a decision must be reached within six months.