Charles Severance, charged with the murders of three residents of Alexandria over the course of a decade, was transferred Friday from that city to the Arlington jail.

Alexandria sheriff’s office spokeswoman Amy Bertsch said in an e-mail that the purpose of the transfer was to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Severance is charged with killing the wife of a former Alexandria sheriff. And the current sheriff, Dana Lawhorne, is a close friend of the brother of another one of Severance’s alleged victims, Ruthanne Lodato.

The possible conflict of interest underscores the local prominence of the Alexandria victims. The three — Nancy Dunning, whose husband was the former sheriff; Ronald Kirby, a longtime transportation planner; and Lodato, a music teacher — were all well-known in the city.

“Sheriff Lawhorne has the utmost confidence in his staff to handle the incarceration of Charles Severance, as they have previously demonstrated their ability to remain professional regardless of the charges an inmate may be facing,” Bertsch wrote. “There were no issues during Severance’s time at the Alexandria jail.”