David P. Baugh, the capital defender for the central region of the state, has filed a formal complaint with the Virginia State Bar against Prince William County Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul Ebert and Richard Conway, one of Ebert’s deputies.
The complaint is based on an opinion earlier this month by U.S. District Judge Raymond Jackson, who found that the prosecutors had withheld exculpatory evidence in winning the capital murder conviction of Justin Michael Wolfe in January 2002.
Wolfe, a marijuana dealer, was convicted of hiring a co-defendant to murder another drug dealer. He admitted being a drug dealer but denied hiring the co-defendant, who has recanted his testimony against Wolfe.
Jackson found that Ebert and Conway “choreographed and coordinated witness testimony” in an effort to eliminate inconsistencies in their accounts. The judge remanded the case to the Supreme Court of Virginia for further proceedings.
Baugh’s complaint summarizes Jackson’s opinion, which he attached to the complaint and hand-delivered to VSB offices yesterday. He was not involved in the case and submitted the complaint over his signature as an attorney rather than as a capital defender.
Under VSB procedures, complaints are screened by bar staff and by a disciplinary subcommittee. They become public only when a subcommittee certifies them to a District Committee or the VSB Disciplinary Board for possible disciplinary action.