Charles Severance to Appeal Extradition to Loudoun Co.

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    A person of interest in three murders in Alexandria will remain in West Virginia while he appeals extradition. Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Julie Carey reports. (Published Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014)

    An Ohio County, W.Va., judge ordered Charles Severance to be extradited to Virginia to face a gun charge, but Severance -- a person of interest in three murders in Alexandria -- will remain in jail in West Virginia while he appeals.

    Severance, 53, has been held in West Virginia on an unrelated gun charge from a warrant issued in Loudoun County, where he most recently lived.

    Charles Severance to Be Extradited to Loudoun Co.

    [DC]  Charles Severance to Be Extradited to Loudoun Co.
    An Ohio County, W.Va., judge has ordered Charles Severance to be extradited to Virginia to face a gun charge. (Published Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014)

    The judge ruled that there is a valid arrest warrant in the gun charge, saying that was the only factor in his decision. Any other reason anyone would want to investigate Severance was not a factor in his decision, he said.

    W.Va. Judge to Decide on Extradition of Charles Severance

    [DC] W.Va. Judge to Decide on Extradition of Charles Severance
    Northern Virginia police and prosecutors will be closely watching developments Wednesday in a Wheeling, W.Va., courtroom. (Published Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014)

    Severance has been in custody since March 13, when he was arrested at the county library in Wheeling. Police from several northern Virginia agencies and the FBI had been tracking him.

    While the Loudoun County gun charge -- being a felon in possession of a firearm -- is what's been holding him, West Virginia authorities told the judge last month that Severance is a person of interest in Alexandria in three unsolved murders: Those of popular Realtor Nancy Dunning a decade ago; regional transportation planner Ron Kirby in November, and music teacher Ruthanne Lodato in February.

    Severance to Go Before Judge Tomorrow

    [DC] Severance to Go Before Judge Tomorrow
    The man who investigators believe could be linked to three high-profile murders in Alexandria, Va., will go before a West Virginia judge Wednesday to determine whether he'll be extradited back to northern Virginia. (Published Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014)

    Although the judge had initially ordered Severance to be extradited to Virginia as soon as possible following Wednesday's hearing, Severance could be in West Virginia for another four months or more.

    New Documents in the Severance Extradition Battle

    [DC] Alexandria Murders Case: New Documents in the Severance Extradition Battle
    New court documents provide a preview of the case a prosecutor will make to have Charles Severance extradited from West Virginia to northern Virginia. Severance is a person of interest in three high-profile murders in Alexandria. Northern Virginia Bureau Chief Julie Carey has the highlights from the prosecution's argument. (Published Friday, Apr 18, 2014)

    The judge stayed the extradition order for one week, but the defense has 30 days to file a notice of intent to appeal.

    Shayne Welling, Severance's defense attorney, will also have to seek an extension of the stay from the West Virginia Supreme Court if he wants to keep Severance in the state while he appeals.

    Court Filing Sheds Light on Case of Charles Severance

    [DC] Court Filing Sheds Light on Case of Charles Severance
    A recent court document from the lawyer for a man being investigated in connection with three high-profile murders in Alexandria, Va., sheds light on the alleged crimes and questions about his arrest. News4's Mark Segraves has more on what the documents uncovers. (Published Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014)

    The West Virginia Supreme Court will then decide whether to accept the case and whether to hear oral arguments or just use the court filing. If the court accepts the appeal, the defense will have three months to perfect the appeal.

    Last week, attorneys on both sides filed court documents detailing their arguments in advance of Wednesday's extradiction hearing.

    Welling wrote that the Loudoun gun charge was a sham and was just being used to detain Severance while Alexandria police continue their homicide investigation.

    But in his court response, Ohio County prosecutor Scott Smith called the Loudoun gun charge legitimate. Smith wrote that the Loudoun County warrant charging Severance as a felon in possession of a firearm was correctly handled.

    In court Wednesday morning, Welling argued, "This really isn't about a Loudoun County gun charge. It never has been."

    But 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.

    Welling also said Severance had not attempted to flee Virginia because the warrant was issued after Severance had already left Loudoun County. When the judge asked whether Severance's intent for leaving Virginia should matter, Welling said yes, because his client had not attempted to flee with the intent of avoiding the charge.

    The prosecutor said all that's required to be a fugitive is committing a crime and then leaving the jurisdiction, and the judge agreed.

    Court documents filed last week reveal that Severance's girlfriend admitted buying him two guns, which disappeared from their Ashburn, Va., townhouse when he packed up and left just days before his arrest.

    Welling also told the judge that he believed the extradition warrant from Virginia was based on faulty paperwork, because there are multiple copies of the arrest warrant with different handwritten numbers.

    A Loudoun detective countered there is only one warrant for Severance's arrest, and the handwritten numbers are internal tracking devices.

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