High court rejects Virginia defendant’s vindictive-prosecution claim

Virginia News

FILE – In this Nov. 4, 2020 file photo, the Supreme Court is seen in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal from a Virginia drug dealer serving a 41-year murder sentence that he claims is the result of vindictive prosecution.

The high court on Monday turned aside the appeal from Justin Wolfe without comment.

The rejection comes two years after the Supreme Court had ordered Virginia to give his claims of vindictive prosecution a hearing. Monday’s action could be the final chapter in a two-decade legal saga.

Wolfe was convicted of murder in Prince William County in the 2001 slaying of another drug dealer, Daniel Petrole.

Prosecutors said Wolfe owed Petrole tens of thousands of dollars and hired another man to shoot and kill Petrole.

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