Man indicted for three Alexandria, Virginia, murders over past decade

Possible serial killer in Virginia
Possible serial killer in Virginia

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Story highlights

  • Charles Severance is indicted for the shooting deaths of a teacher and two others
  • The slayings over a decade raised concerns a serial killer might be responsible
  • Severance allegedly knocked on Ruthanne Lodato's door and shot her last February
  • The prosecutor says he will not seek the death penatly
A West Virginia man has been indicted in the murders of three Alexandria, Virginia, residents over a decade.
A grand jury returned a 10-count indictment against Charles Severance, 53, for the shooting deaths that investigators determined earlier this year were linked to one killer.
The slayings alarmed the community located across the Potomac River from the nation's capital, raising concerns a serial killer might be responsible.
Police have said a gunman knocked on Lodato's door late that morning and began shooting. The 59-year-old woman died, and her mother's caretaker was seriously wounded. The survivor helped provide a sketch of the suspect.
The previous victims were also prominent in the area. Nancy Dunning, once married to Alexandria's sheriff, was killed in December 2003; and Ron Kirby, director of transportation planning at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, was gunned down last November.
Alexandria's Commonwealth Attorney Bryan Porter said he would not seek the death penalty for Severance, although he did not elaborate on that decision.
Severance is being held without bond in the Loudoun County, Virginia, jail.