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Loudoun County Judge Sends Severance Gun Charges to Grand Jury

Judge Deborah Welsh says there's enough evidence to send charges to grand jury; Severance has been tied to the investigation of three high-profile Alexandria murders.

A gun charge against Charles Severance, 53, will go to a grand jury; Severance will be back in court July 15. Loudoun County Adult Detention Center photo
A gun charge against Charles Severance, 53, will go to a grand jury; Severance will be back in court July 15. Loudoun County Adult Detention Center photo
Loudoun County General District Court Judge Deborah C. Welsh ruled Wednesday afternoon that there is probable cause that Charles Severance illegally possessed guns, and is sending a gun charge against him to a grand jury, returning to court July 15, according to Leesburg Today.

Severance, 53, who is linked to an Alexandria Police investigation into three high-profile murders, is charged with illegally possessing firearms. Severance was convicted in 2005 of a felony gun possession charge in Rockingham County, Va. 

But his attorney has argued that two 22-caliber guns in question, purchased in 2012, belonged to his girlfriend Linda Robra, a Realtor and substitute teacher in Ashburn. Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman called Robra as a witness in the preliminary hearing. 

The judge on Wednesday apparently made her decision partly based on testimony during the preliminary hearing by Severance's girlfriend, who said "Charlie" cleaned the guns and had access to them.

Severance's parents, who live in Oakton, sat behind him Wednesday in court in Leesburg, according to NBC-4. Severance, being held at Loudoun Adult Detention Center, was shackled at the ankles and waved to his mother, the Leesburg Today story said.

Robra, the girlfriend, said that Severance moved out of her home after an Alexandria detective left a business card, trying to get in touch with Severance. The detective was presumably there investigating the three high-profile murders of Nancy Dunning, Ron Kirby and Ruthanne Lodato.

The prosecutor at his March hearing said the guns are missing.

Ed Ungvarsky of Arlington, who is representing Severance, says his client has been unfairly tied to the unsolved, high-profile Alexandria murders. He said that Severance's girlfriend didn't want police searching her townhouse because she had marijuana there, NBC-4 reported.

Ungvarsky had argued that Severance should be released from the Loudoun Adult Detention Center where he is being held; he has said that the gun charge is a sham being pushed to allow authorities more time to investigate the unsolved shootings.

The FBI and the Alexandria Police Department have each said that the FBI is helping Alexandria officials investigate the three murder cases; that includes, an FBI spokeswoman said, searching ponds and creeks near Severance's home in Ashburn and his parents' home in Oakton, presumably searching for the missing guns.

Although the guns have not been found, gun-cleaning equipment was reportedly found in Severance's car after his arrest in West Virginia, NBC-4 reported Wednesday.

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