Charles Severance sentenced to life in prison

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Charles Severance sentenced to life in prison
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By Chris Teale (File photo)

Charles Severance, the man found guilty of the killings of three Alexandrians and the wounding of a fourth, was sentenced to three life terms in prison plus 48 years by specially appointed Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Randy Bellows on January 21.

Severance, 55, was convicted of capital murder in the deaths of Ruthanne Lodato in February 2014 and Ronald Kirby in November 2013, and first-degree murder in the slaying of Nancy Dunning in 2003. He also was convicted of non-fatally shooting Janet Franko, a caretaker at the Lodato residence, and six other related charges.

The jury previously recommended a sentence of life without parole for each of the three killings.

The Washington Post reported that Severance continued with his previous pattern of bizarre courtroom behavior, referencing the Book of Common Prayer, King Henry VIII, “Elizabeth” and “the 37th article of religion” but at no stage mentioning the three murders he was convicted of.

“Violence does not win,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter, prosecuting, reportedly said. “In the end, flying in the face of the senseless violence [and] despair that has been exhibited in this case, it is an incontrovertible fact that love wins.”

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