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April 30, 2014 Published in Courts & Crime, Top Stories

West Virginia Supreme Court Denies Severance Appeal

By Carla Branch

Charles S. Severance, 53

Charles S. Severance, 53

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals late yesterday denied Charles Severance’s request for a stay of extradition by a vote of 5-0. This clears the way for Loudoun County Sheriff’s deputies to return to Wheeling, West Virginia, and transport Severance back to Loudoun County to face gun charges.

The Supreme Court of Appeals affirmed Ohio County Circuit Court Judge James Mazzone’s ruling on April 23, that ordered Severance to be returned to Virginia to face the Felon in Possession of a Firearm charge. Severance was arrested in Wheeling on that warrant on March 13, and has fought extradition since then.

Severance’s attorneys argued that the Loudoun warrant was a sham and just an excuse to return him to Virginia so that Alexandria police and the FBI can question him about three murders: Nancy Dunning was shot and killed in her Del Ray home in December, 2003; Ron Kirby was shot and killed in his Rosemont home in November, 2013; and Ruthanne Lodato was shot and killed in her North Ridge home in February, 2014. Forensic evidence indicates that the bullets in all three murders came from a small caliber weapon.

Alexandria police would like to talk to Severance about the murders but have not named him a suspect nor a person of interest in any of the crimes. Alexandria police received a tip after Lodato’s murder that they should talk to Severance about these cases.

Severance, 53, ran for Congress against Rep. Jim Moran (D-8) in 1996, and for mayor of Alexandria in 1996 and 2000.

Loudoun County officials have ten days to take custody of Severance and return him to Virginia.

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