MANASSAS, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - Paul Ebert, the longtime Prince William County Commonwealth's Attorney, is retiring at the end of this year after more than 50 years on the job.
Ebert has made his name as the prosecutor who has sent more convicted murderers to death row than any other in Virginia since winning his first election in 1967.
Once the youngest Commonwealth's Attorney to ever be elected, 81-year-old Ebert is now the oldest. He gained national recognition for his work on prominent cases like that of Lorena Bobbitt, who in 1993, cut off her sleeping husband John Wayne Bobbitt's penis after she says he raped her at their home in Manassas.
He also handled the prosecution of John Allen Muhammad whose sniper shootings terrorized the Washington, D.C., region in 2002.
There was also the horrible case of a young killer named Paul Powell who, in 1999, violently attacked teenage sisters Stacie and Kristie Reed. 16-year-old Stacie was murdered and 14-year-old Kristie was raped and repeatedly stabbed but survived and was able to testify against Powell. He was convicted and sentenced to death but the Virginia Supreme Court threw out the death sentence on a technicality. Powell would still be serving life behind bars had he not taunted Ebert from prison, writing him a letter telling him what he had done and how he had attempted to have sex with Stacie before he killed her. This enabled Ebert to prosecute him again him and eventually sentence him to death.
Ebert's wife Pricilla died of a heart attack in 1983. He's never remarried and has three children, three grandchildren and a host of co-workers that he considers like family. "It's like a big family here,” Ebert said about his Virginia office. “When I had to tell my folks I wasn't going to run again it was one of the hardest things I ever did. I don't get emotional too much but I got emotional then."
Paul Ebert says he doesn't know for sure what he's going to do after December 31st or how he's going to relax in retirement. "I don't mind telling you I'm worried about it,” he said. “How I'm going to handle it. But I'll do it."