Judge Orders Charles Severance To Be Extradited, But Appeal Could Delay

A possible “person of interest” in three northern Virginia high-profile murders has been ordered by a judge to be extradited back to Northern Virginia where he lives.

Charles Severance, 53, appeared before a West Virginia judge on Wednesday where he was being held in Ohio County on an unrelated gun charge. Reports indicate Severance will appeal the judge’s order and could remain in place there for another three to four months.

Severance has been on Alexandria investigators radar after a tip came into them with information possibly linking Severance to three murders. He was taken into custody on March 13 and was put in cuffs after he was considered a felon in possession of a firearm.

NBC 4 reports,:

The prosecutor argued that Alexandria didn’t need Severance jailed just to continue its murder investigation and that parallel investigations could be conducted into both the gun charge and the killings.”

The Alexandria Police department says despite Severance’s arrest, they continue to investigate the murders of Ruthanne Lodato, Ron Kirby and Nancy Dunning, all murdered over the last decade, all within the confines of their home and all within a short distance from the next.

As for Severance’s, alleged, possible connection.  A press release said:

 “Mr. Severance’s name was brought to the attention of the Alexandria Police Department during the routine analysis of crime tips. Further investigation by multiple law enforcement agencies determined that Mr. Severance is a convicted felon in unlawful possession of firearms. He was located by law enforcement officials in West Virginia, where he was arrested on a Loudoun County warrant for the weapons violation.”

Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille told NBC 4:

“It’s never closed until justice is done, and so at this point I would encourage citizens to continue to call in any clues and evidence that they may find and have, share it with the police. That very valuable information that they will always continue to need until the police reaches a point where they believe this is the right person, and that has not been determined yet.”

In an Alexandria press conference in March, Police Chief Earl L. Cook spoke out about the recent reports his department received from the Virginia Department of Forensic Science on three murder cases.

The report shows the bullets recovered from three homicides over the last 11 years have the “same general rifling class and characteristics and are similar in design to bullets,” submitted in all three cases. The chief went on to say, although that evidence appears to be close and possibly linked, that the microscopic comparisons were inconclusive.

Chief Cook said, “It was not possible to identify or eliminate these bullets as having been fired from the same firearm.”

Nancy Dunning, the wife of a local sheriff, was murdered at her home on Dec. 5, 2003 between 10:50 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. On Nov. 11, 2013, Ron Kirby was also shot and killed at his home nearby on Elm Street between 11:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Then the most recent murder on Feb. 6 of Ruthanne Lodato, shows an unknown suspect knocked at her door on Ridge Road Drive and shot and killed her and attempted to kill another woman with her.

The Alexandria police sketch. Courtesy: Alexandria Police.

The Alexandria police sketch. Courtesy: Alexandria Police.

According to police, the other woman, a witness in the murder, was able to give police a description. The suspect in the most recent homicide according to police, is described as a white male with gray hair and a full beard. He was last seen wearing tan outerwear.

Severance not only ran for mayor twice in the past and was originally wanted for firearm charges out of Loudon County, Va.

Keep following Crime Feed for updates.

The Alexandria Police Department is asking if you know anything about any of these cases or the possible person of interest, please call them: 746.6864 or email crimetips@alexandriva.gov

 

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