Charles Severance Ruled Competent to Stand Trial - NBC4 Washington

Charles Severance Ruled Competent to Stand Trial

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    Charles Severance, suspect in three murders in the Alexandria area, appeared in court for a competency hearing on Jan. 22 in Alexandria. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

    Charles Severance, who is accused of killing three Alexandria residents over a 10-year period, has been found competent to stand trial.

    Now, his attorneys are seeking to move his trial out of Alexandria, which has been stunned by the deaths of three high-profile residents, two since 2013.

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

    Severance, 54, is charged with capital murder, though 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.

    At one point, he made a rude gesture to a court photographer; at another, he complained about his lawyers and said he wanted "the defense to competently argue I've been denied a right to a speedy trial."

    On Monday, Severance's lawyers filed a notice with the court in Alexandria that they would seek a change of venue in the case.

    Stay with News4 and NBC Washington for more on this developing story.