VIRGINIA

Charles Severance, charged with illegal possession of firearms, due in court Wednesday

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LEESBURG, Va. (AP) - An Ashburn man wanted for questioning in the deaths of three Alexandria residents over the last decade is going back to a Loudoun County courtroom on an unrelated charge.

Fifty-three-year-old Charles Severance is charged with illegally possessing firearms despite a felony record. His lawyers, though, say the charge is a sham to hold Severance while Alexandria police continue to investigate the unsolved shootings there.

Alexandria Police have tried to question Severance but have declined to identify him as a suspect.

Severance's lawyer filed court papers last week saying the firearms in question in the Loudoun case actually belonged to Severance's live-in girlfriend.

A judge will decide at a preliminary hearing Wednesday in Leesburg whether prosecutors have enough evidence to seek a grand jury indictment.

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