Charles Severance, a resident of Alexandria, Virginia who had ran for political office in Virginia in the 1990’s and 2000’s, has been indicted on ten charges, including murder and weapons related charges.
The killings in question date back to 2003 when real estate agent Nancy Dunning was found murdered in the Alexandria area. There were other murders in the surrounding neighborhoods in the following years, one as recent as February. These killings have sparked fears of a possible serial killer in Alexandria and the encompassing areas.
Ballistics experts had found similarities between the weapons used in all three murders, according to ABC News.
Severance, 53, was identified by a caregiver, who had survived the February slaying, with the help of forensic sketch artists. When police contacted Severance in March, he left the state but was later arrested in a Wheeling, W. Va. library, according to the Washington Post.
Severance was initially arrested on a weapons related charge since he is a felon and therefore not allowed to carry a firearm. He had previously pleaded guilty to a 2005 felony gun possession charge.
In 1996 and 2000, Severance made a run for mayor of Alexandria, but his odd and erratic behavior caused officials to take notice. Police at the time conducted a routine investigation after tips were passed off to them pointing to Severance in connection with the 2003 homicide, according to the Washington Times. After the investigation, police concluded Severance was not a suspect at the time.
Prosecutors for the case say they are not planning to pursue the death penalty. The maximum sentence Severance could therefore face is life in prison if he is convicted of the murder charges.
“This has been a complex and time-consuming investigation that has spanned almost 11 years,” said the Alexandria police in a statement.