Severance ordered held without bond; prosecutor says he is a sus - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Severance ordered held without bond; prosecutor says he is a suspect in Alexandria murders

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Charles Severance / DeMarco Charles Severance / DeMarco

The man who may be a possible suspect in three high-profile murders in Alexandria made his first court appearance in Wheeling, W.Va.

Charles Severance was in the courtroom on an unrelated charge Monday morning.

Inside the county courthouse, the prosecutor said although he hasn't been charged, authorities in Alexandria are looking into whether Severance is connected to the three murders of Ruthanne Lodato last month, Ron Kirby in November 2013 and Nancy Dunning in 2003.

The prosecutor said Severance is dangerous and a flight risk.

Prior to the hearing, Severance, shackled at the ankles and wrists, looked calm and was even smiling during conversations with his lawyer.

But once the judge arrived, he did not speak and defense attorney Shayne Welling refused to confirm his client's name.

“Let’s not lose sight of the fact that this person alleged to be Mr. Severance is only here for purposes of determining whether or not he should be extradited to Northern Virginia to face a charge of felony possession, and anything else that’s collateral to that should not be considered by this court,” said Welling.

Severance is facing a weapons charge in Loudoun County, Va. Alexandria Police have not filed any charges against him, but prosecutor Scott Smith brought up a possible connection to the shooting deaths of Lodato, Kirby and Dunning.

“He's being investigated by authorities in Alexandria, Va., regarding three homicides,” said Smith.

Smith also said, “When the defendant was advised of the investigation and authorities wanted to speak to him, he first tried to turn himself into the Russian Embassy for asylum and that was denied.”

Smith submitted photos of Severance outside the Russian Embassy in D.C. on March 7. In one picture, you can see him holding a passport. Outside of courtroom, the prosecutor said it shows he could be willing to leave the country.

“I believe he's dangerous, he’s a danger to the public, and a flight risk,” said Smith.

Severance is now being held without bond and the judge ordered a bond hearing for March 19, with a status hearing within the next couple of weeks.

The prosecutor says if the extradition moves forward, it could be a month and a half to two months before Severance is returned to Virginia.

The defense denied to comment to the media.


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