Severance plans to fight extradition to Virginia

WASHINGTON – Prosecutors say a man wanted for questioning in connection to three unsolved murders in Alexandria knew police wanted to speak with him when he left for West Virginia and that he is a flight risk.

Charles Severance, 53, will likely fight his extradition from West Virginia to Loudoun County, where he is wanted for a weapon violation. He was in court in Wheeling Monday.

The court is now waiting for a formal request from Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe for Severance’s extradition.

During the 10-minute hearing, Severance’s public defender Shayne Welling told the Ohio County Court he needs to know more about the weapons charge out of Loudoun County, which form the basis for the extradition.

“The only information I have is he’s wanted on a felon in possession that I have really not seen much in the way of information on that. So whether or not it’s an extraditable offense is something we traditionally explore,” Welling said.

Judge James Mazzone denied bail after prosecutors detailed Severance’s actions before he left for Wheeling, where he was arrested Thursday based on a tip from investigators in Virginia.

Prosecutor Scott Smith said after learning Alexandria police were investigating Severance for three unsolved homicides in Alexandria, Severance unsuccessfully sought asylum at the Russian Embassy in D.C. He then left for West Virginia.

Smith also said two guns belonging to Severance remain unaccounted for.

Handcuffed and wearing a tan jacket over his orange jumpsuit, Severance smiled a few times during the hearing but never spoke.

A bond hearing is set for Wednesday. And another extradition hearing is scheduled for March 31.

By fighting extradition, Severance could delay the process up to 60 days as the states have to exchange information and decide how to proceed.

Alexandria police insist that Severance is not a a person of interest nor a suspect in the killings of RuthAnne Lodato, Ron Kirby and Nancy Dunning.



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WTOP’s Megan Cloherty to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter and on WTOP Facebook page.