Charles Severance extradition hearing set

A West Virginia judge will decide later this month whether or not to extradite a man Alexandria police want to question in connection with three high-profile murders.

The final extradition hearing for Charles Severance will be held in Wheeling, W.V. on April 23, a clerk in the Ohio County Circuit Court confirmed.

Severance, 53, was arrested in Wheeling last month on a fugitive from justice charge. Prosecutor Scott M. Smith has said that Severance fled Virginia after learning that Alexandria police wanted to speak with him about the deaths of Ruthanne Lodato, Ronald Kirby and Nancy Dunning. The Commonwealth is now pushing to have him extradited on a low-level weapons charge out of Loudoun County, unrelated to the murders.

Judge James P. Mazzone has granted Severance’s public defender, Shane Welling, until April 14 to file his challenge to the extradition, the clerk said. Smith will then have another week to file a response.

Welling has argued that the court case is a “sham,” and that if Virginia authorities believe Severance is a murderer, they should attempt to extradite him on that basis.

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Rachel Weiner covers cops and courts in Arlington and Alexandria.
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