The city agency, indirectly funded by the state Department of Criminal Justice Services, oversees a corrections program for those convicted of misdemeanors, some of whom have prior felony records. As part of the program, clients must report monthly to a ROCC probation officer.
Style reported that one such client, Peter Lee Boone, convicted of a concealed weapon charge in October 2002, never showed up for his monthly probation meetings. According to ROCC policy, Boone should have been reported to the courts. On Aug. 4, he was indicted on capital murder charges in the July 30 shooting of Wendel.
After Style’s report, Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Anthony G. Spencer began an investigation, subsequently asking the Richmond Circuit Court to convene a special grand jury. The proceedings are closed and secret, but anonymous law enforcement authorities had previously alleged fabrication and backdating of paperwork, misuse of ROCC assets and private profiteering through ROCC.
Regardless of the outcome, some members of Wendel’s family say they are looking to settle a score. “I intend to pursue any avenues of legal action available to me,” says Wendel’s older brother Gary, by phone from Port Orange, Fla. “If those people had been doing their job, my brother could very well be alive today.”
His father, Fred, also of Port Orange, concurred. “Nothing is going to bring my son back. But this should never happen to anyone else.”
Gary Wendel says he intends to make sure ROCC is held accountable. “One way or another,” he says, “we’re going to get our pound of flesh.” — Lisa Antonelli Bacon
Style Weekly's mission is to provide smart, witty and tenacious coverage of Richmond. Our editorial team strives to reveal Richmond's true identity through unflinching journalism, incisive writing, thoughtful criticism, arresting photography and sophisticated presentation.
We make sense of the news; pursue those in power; explore the city's arts and culture; open windows on provocative ideas; and help readers know Richmond through its people. We give readers the information to make intelligent decisions.