VIRGINIA

Judge orders Charles Severance to stand trial on weapons charges

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LEESBURG, Va. (WJLA/AP) - A man who is the key person of interest in three slayings in Alexandria will now stand trial on an unrelated gun charge in Loudoun County.

Charles Severance, right, in court in Virginia. Photo: WJLA
Charles Severance before his extradition. (AP Photo/West Virginia Regional Jail & Correctional Facility Authority)

A judge on Tuesday set Oct. 27 as the trial date for 53-year-old Charles Severance, who was indicted by a grand jury Monday on one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

The trial is expected to take two days and Severance, if convicted, would face a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison.

Police in Alexandria have said they are focused on Severance as they investigate three unsolved slayings: one in 2003, one last year and one this year. He has not been formally named as a suspect, but police said ballistics evidence indicates the murders may be linked.

Severance's lawyer has said the gun charge is a sham to hold him while police continue to investigate the Alexandria slayings. The lawyer insists the firearms in question in the Loudoun case actually belonged to Severance's live-in girlfriend, Linda Robra, who testified at a preliminary hearing last month.

Severance's attorney also filed motions Tuesday seeking to suppress evidence and statements at trial. The judge scheduled a motions hearing in the case for Sept. 4.

Severance is a former Alexandria resident who now lives in Ashburn. He's been in custody since March.

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