3 life sentences for convicted Alexandria killer

The Sentencing of Convicted Alexandria Serial Killer Charles Severance.
Charles Severance sits during his sentencing at the Fairfax County Circuit Court, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, in Fairfax, Va. Severance, a serial killer convicted of killing three prominent Alexandria residents over the course of a decade as part of a grudge against the city’s elite, was sentenced to life in prison. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

The Sentencing of Convicted Alexandria Serial Killer Charles Severance.
Defense attorney Megan Thomas, seated between Joe King, left, and Chris Leibig, gets emotional as Judge Randy Bellows reads a statement about the losses of the victims’ families during the sentencing of Charles Severance at the Fairfax County Circuit Court, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, in Fairfax, Va. Severance, a serial killer convicted of killing three prominent Alexandria residents over the course of a decade as part of a grudge against the city’s elite, was sentenced to life in prison. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

The Sentencing of Convicted Alexandria Serial Killer Charles Severance.
Charles Severance tells Judge Randy Bellows that he no longer wants to be represented by his defense attorneys, Joe King, second from right, and Chris Leibig, right, during his sentencing at the Fairfax County Circuit Court, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, in Fairfax, Va. Severance, a serial killer convicted of killing three prominent Alexandria residents over the course of a decade as part of a grudge against the city’s elite, was sentenced to life in prison. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

The Sentencing of Convicted Alexandria Serial Killer Charles Severance.
Defense attorney Megan Thomas, seated between Joe King, left, and Chris Leibig, gets emotional as Judge Randy Bellows reads a statement about the losses of the victims’ families during the sentencing of Charles Severance at the Fairfax County Circuit Court, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, in Fairfax, Va. Severance, a serial killer convicted of killing three prominent Alexandria residents over the course of a decade as part of a grudge against the city’s elite, was sentenced to life in prison. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

The Sentencing of Convicted Alexandria Serial Killer Charles Severance.
Charles Severance sits during his sentencing at the Fairfax County Circuit Court, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, in Fairfax, Va. Severance, a serial killer convicted of killing three prominent Alexandria residents over the course of a decade as part of a grudge against the city’s elite, was sentenced to life in prison. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

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The Sentencing of Convicted Alexandria Serial Killer Charles Severance.
The Sentencing of Convicted Alexandria Serial Killer Charles Severance.
The Sentencing of Convicted Alexandria Serial Killer Charles Severance.
The Sentencing of Convicted Alexandria Serial Killer Charles Severance.
The Sentencing of Convicted Alexandria Serial Killer Charles Severance.

FAIRFAX, Va. — Convicted murderer Charles Severance was sentenced to serve three life terms in prison for charges that he shot and killed three prominent Alexandria citizens.

In November, a Fairfax County jury found Severance guilty of 10 counts including murder charges for the deaths of Nancy Dunning, Ron Kirby and Ruthanne Lodato.

Judge Randy Bellows stuck with the jury’s recommended three life sentences in prison plus 48 years and a $400,000 fine. The three life sentences are to be served consecutively meaning that if some of the murder convictions were reversed on appeal or the prison sentences reduced, he could still serve the remainder of his life behind bars. Virginia does not offer the chance for parole to convicted felons.

Bellows said he found no mitigating factors that would offset what he called Severance’s “cruel” acts. The judge spoke of the blood-soaked and bullet riddled bodies left for the victim’s family members to find, of grandchildren who won’t know their grandparents and of lives cut short before rendering his decision.

Severance pledged to appeal and his attorneys suggested that charging him with two counts of capital murder equated to double jeopardy, a defense strategy they had not previously brought up in court in or in filings.

They asked the judge to toss one of the capital murder convictions, a motion Bellows denied.

Severance was charged with and found guilty of two capital murder charges in the slayings of Lodato and Kirby.

In Virginia, both capital murder and felony murder carry sentences of either life in prison or the death penalty. Prosecutors chose not to seek the death penalty.

WTOP’s Max Smith contributed to this story.

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