Man Accused of Alexandria Slayings Opposes Separate Trials - NBC4 Washington

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Man Accused of Alexandria Slayings Opposes Separate Trials

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    Man Accused of Alexandria Slayings Opposes Separate Trials
    Washington Post
    ALEXANDRIA, VA - JANUARY 22: Charles Severance, suspect in three murders in the Alexandria area, is led into court for a competency hearing on January, 22, 2015 in Alexandria, VA. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

    A man accused of killing three Alexandria residents over a 10-year span says he disagrees with his attorneys' request for separate murder trials.

    Charles Severance of Ashburn is charged with shooting and killing three people in their homes in separate incidents ranging back to 2003.

    At the outset of Thursday's hearing, Severance, who has a history of outbursts, said separate trials would require him to win multiple acquittals. He says he doesn't trust his attorneys. The judge promised to let Severance speak later, but ordered him to be quiet until then.

    Prosecutors say Severance, a former Alexandria resident who was a fringe candidate for political office, was angry that he lost custody of his son and sought to lash out at what he perceived as the city's ruling class.

    Music teacher Ruthanne Lodato was shot to death as she answered a knock at her door Feb. 6, 2014. Ron Kirby, director of the department of transportation planning for the Council of Governments, was shot and killed Nov. 10, 2013. Nancy Dunning, the wife of a former Alexandria sheriff, was killed in 2003.

    Severance is charged with capital murder, although prosecutors have said they will not seek the death penalty. He had undergone several mental evaluations, and objected to them in outbursts during court hearings in December and January.

    Severance was found competent to stand trial last month.