(WUSA) -- A federal judge has ordered that Justin Wolfe, a Virginia man who has been on death row for more than a decade, be released from prison.
Justin Wolfe's mother calls it a Christmas gift, but says she is cautiously optimistic.
"We're just shocked. We're grateful. We're relieved. But we have gotten this close to the door so many times only to have it shut on us again," said Terry Steinberg, Wolfe's mother.
Wolfe was convicted in a murder-for-hire scheme and sentenced to death row ten years ago for the killing of Daniel Petrole. Last year, a federal judge overturned the conviction, ruling that Prince William County prosecutors hid evidence that would have undermined their case. He ordered Wolfe to be retried within 120 days, but that didn't happen.
On Monday, a federal judge ordered him to be released.
"Justin has told the same story for twelve years, nothing has ever wavered," said Steinberg. "Now that all the evidence is being turned over, we are finding evidence that proves Justin was always telling the truth, that he had nothing to do with this murder."
The Attorney General is filing an appeal to the judge's decision to not allow a retrial.
Wolfe's next hearing is set for next Wednesday January 2nd.