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After Leesburg Hearing, Severance Case Cleared For Trial

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In Virginia, prosectors in Loudoun County are moving forward with charges against Charles Severance, a man Alexandria prosecutors say they want to question in connection to three unsolved murders.

At the end of a three-hour hearing in Leesburg today, General District Court Judge Deborah Welsh certified the case to the Circuit Court, which means the case is headed for trial. But only after defense attorney Ed Ungvarsky spent hours trying to poke holes in the case.

Ungvarsky told the judge that Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Plowman has a "woefully weak" case, calling it an extraordinary stretch. Severance's ex-girlfriend testified that he showed her how to load a revolver when they lived together, which the prosecutor said meant he was in possession of a firearm. That's against the law because Severance was already a convicted felon at the time.

The judge agreed that the prosecutor presented probable evidence for the case to move forward, although it remains to be seen what will happen when it goes to trial.

Today's hearing played out against the backdrop of the ongoing homicide investigation for three murders Alexandria officials say could be related. Severance's ex-girlfriend testified that she kicked him out of the house when he said he would not cooperate with the murder investigation. That's when two revolvers went missing from her house.

Alexandria police officials have not charged Severance with anything, and his defense attorney says the charges against him a sham and pretext to hold him while the Alexandria investigation continues.

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