Prince William County Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul Ebert denies he violated the law or the Rules of Professional Conduct in the capital murder prosecution of Justin Wolfe.
Wolfe was convicted of arranging the murder of a drug dealer, but his case now is subject to habeas corpus review based on a July opinion from U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson who found prosecutors withheld evidence that could have helped Wolfe’s case.
Based on the judge’s findings, capital defender David Baugh filed a formal complaint with the Virginia State Bar against Ebert and his assistant Richard Conway, saying the case illustrates the failure of bar regulators to rein in wayward prosecutors.
In a response filed with the VSB this month, Ebert said the judge acknowledged he based his conclusions on the testimony of “admitted liars, drug dealers and … a murderer.”
“Richard Conway and I carefully investigated, prepared and prosecuted this case,” Ebert said. “While I respect Judge Jackson’s position, I disagree with his conclusions, deny that I compromised the facts, the law or the Rules of Professional Conduct in my prosecution of Justin Wolfe and am offended that he would believe the uncorroborated testimony of criminals over mine.”
Bar complaints and initial bar investigations are not normally made public, but both Baugh and Ebert agreed to provide copies of their written statements to Virginia Lawyers Weekly.