VA serial killer convicted of all charges

Published: Nov. 3, 2015 at 4:47 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 13, 2015 at 7:09 AM EST
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ALEXANDRIA, VA (WWBT) - The man known as the "Northern Virginia Serial Killer" is convicted of killing three people.

More than 10 years after Charles Severance's first victim was shot in broad daylight comes the sentence that all but guarantees that he will never spend another day as a free man.

Prosecutors say Severance developed a hatred of "the elite" after losing custody of his son in Alexandria. His three victims were all prominent people in the community.

The 55-year-old was found guilty on 10 charges Monday in a series of killings that terrified people living in Alexandria. Severance was sentenced to three life terms, plus another 48 years and fined $400,000 for the murders of Nancy Dunning, Ruthanne Lodato, and Ron Kirby. The victims' families testified in court and addressed the depth of their losses, adding with this verdict, the mourning process can now truly begin.

The verdict is also a relief for local police.

"Obviously, this has been a horrid series of crimes going on 11 years in our community brought a lot of fear. Today, we can put that to rest. From this individual, the community has mightn't [sic] else to fear," police said.

Nancy Dunning's daughter, Liz, says her family gave up on believing the day would come. Nancy's husband, James, who was sheriff at the time of his wife's murder, died of a heart attack in 2012.

The families of all of the victims say this verdict will finally give them a chance to fully grieve and find closure.

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