Del. Rob Bell (R-Albemarle) wants his fellow lawmakers to sign onto a letter, urging the federal government to halt the transfer of a convicted murder out of Virginia.
At issue is the case of Jens Soering, convicted of the 1985 double murders of Derek and Nancy Haysom in Bedford County.
The German national received two life sentences for viciously stabbing the Haysoms.
Soering was dating the Haysoms’ daughter, Elizabeth, at the time. They were U.Va. students when the slayings occurred. Elizabeth Haysom was convicted for conspiracy and is serving a 90-year sentence.
Shortly before his term ended, then-Gov. Tim Kaine (D) quietly gave the feds consent for Soering to be transferred back to Germany.
The governor’s office never publicized the move and never offered a defense to reporters.
When news of the move hit Republicans, they hit the roof.
Which brings us to today’s motion.
Bell — a former prosecutor — spoke on the House floor, asking lawmakers to join his plea to keep Soering in Virginia.
“This is a grotesque miscarriage of justice,” Bell said. “If there’s anybody who shouldn’t be released, it’s this man.”
Bell said Soering’s powerful family in Germany played a role in Kaine’s decision.
“Only one person got this special treatment,” the delegate said. “It’s entirely because of his special connections and his wealth.”
He urged lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to join in the petition.
“[Soering] is trying to make a game of this,” Bell said. “Please do not let him win.”
Del. David Englin (D-Arlington) agreed.
“It does make a mockery of the system,” he said. “This individual should never see the light of day.”
At the end of Friday’s floor session, Bell had 50 colleagues sign his letter.
Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has reversed Kaine’s decision, and informed the U.S. Justice Department that Virginia has revoked its consent to transfer.
A decision on the matter could come in the next few weeks.