Charles Severance Competency Decision Delayed in Three Alexandria Murders | NBC4 Washington

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Charles Severance Competency Decision Delayed in Three Alexandria Murders

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    Charles Severance Competency Decision Delayed in Three Alexandria Murders
    Washington Post / pool
    Charles Severance, L, is charged with the murders of three prominent Alexandria citizens over a 10-year span.

    A decision on whether 54-year-old Charles Severance is competent to stand trial for the shooting deaths of three Alexandria residents over a 10-year span has been postponed until next month.

    Severance, of Ashburn, Virginia, was sent to a state hospital last month for a second, more complete mental-health evaluation.

    He is charged with capital murder in the deaths of three prominent Alexandria residents: Nancy Dunning in 2003, Ron Kirby in 2013 and music teacher Ruthanne Lodato last year. Prosecutors, though, have said they won't seek a death sentence.

    At a pretrial hearing Thursday in Alexandria, lawyers declined to discuss the results of his evaluation. Severance has objected to having his competency questioned.

    A hearing on his competency has been scheduled for April 23.

    Severance had several verbal outbursts during a hearing in January, where the judge ordered him to be hospitalized to get a more complete mental competency evaluation. He complained to the judge about his lawyers and said, "I'd like the defense to competently argue I've been denied a right to a speedy trial."

    The judge told him he had a very competent legal team.

    In court Thursday, the judge also approved another $30,000 for defense team investigators, who have already spent $30,000. Severance's defense indicated they will want money to hire a firearms toolmark expert. The judge said ballistics would be a big part of the case.

    Last year, Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook said that

    the bullets used in all three cases

    have the "same general rifling class and characteristics."