WASHINGTON (AP) - Surveillance video helped authorities link a man to the killings of three prominent Alexandria residents, according to a recently unsealed search warrant.
The search warrant, served in March, was for the home of Charles Severance’s parents in Oakton, Va., where he maintained a room. Severance is charged with killing real estate agent Nancy Dunning in 2003, transportation planner Ronald Kirby last year and music teacher Ruthanne Lodato in February.
The search warrant says investigators obtained surveillance video showing a red 1990s-model Ford Escort speeding away from the area of Lodato’s home around the time she was fatally shot. The document says Severance drove a 1999 red Ford Escort to the Russian Embassy in the Washington about a month later and sought asylum, according to The Washington Post, https://wapo.st/1vkv37F.
Previously, Alexandria police said only that the three killings were linked because they may have involved the same gun. All three victims were gunned down in the middle of the front doors of their homes, and were all shot multiple times with a small-caliber weapon, according to the search warrant.
Police have said they have not found the gun used in the killings.
The search warrant served at the home of Severance’s parents led police to seize 32 items, including rifle rounds, computer disks, a cellphone and clothes. No guns were found.
Detectives did find a chilling Internet comment left by someone whose handle was the same as a website Severance kept. It read: “Political power comes out of the barrel of a gun. Vive le terror.”
Severance was indicted in the killings in earlier this month. His arrest in West Virginia came in March after police say at least two people called Alexandria police to say that a composite sketch released of the man who shot Lodato looked like Severance.
Severance was a fringe candidate for mayor in Alexandria in 1996 and 2000 and ran for other offices. He stood out for bizarre behavior at political forums.
Information from: The Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com
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