Federal Judge in Virginia Tosses Death Sentence

By LARRY O'DELL | July 12, 2011 | 5:59 PM EDT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A federal judge has vacated the conviction and death sentence of a man in the slaying of his marijuana supplier in case that exposed a drug ring in the wealthy Virginia suburbs.

U.S. District Judge Raymond Jackson ruled Tuesday that Justin Michael Wolfe was denied his due process rights when prosecutors withheld information from his attorneys.

Wolfe had claimed that he was wrongly convicted in the murder-for-hire of 21-year-old Daniel Petrole Jr. in 2001 in Prince William County.

Wolfe claimed that the shooter, Owen Barber IV, acted alone.

Barber was the key prosecution witness in Wolfe's 2002 trial.