Authorities are looking into any possible connections between Severance, 53, and three high-profile homicides in Alexandria.
The chief public defender in Ohio County, W. Va., who is assisting Severance in his fight to avoid extradition to Virginia on an unrelated weapons charge, says, as he has said previously, that his client is being held under "sham" charges and should be released from jail, according to The Intelligencer, Wheeling News-Register.
Severance, an eccentric former Alexandria mayoral candidate, came to the attention of investigators through tips into the February slaying of Ruthanne Lodato, the 2003 killing of real estate agent Nancy Dunning and the November slaying of regional transportation planner Ronald Kirby.
Meanwhile, Severance's former girlfriend has told authorities that she purchased two .22-caliber guns for Severance, according to the Post. The prosecutor at his March hearing said the guns are missing. Magistrate Joe Roxby set bond at $100,000 during a video arraignment.
On the day he was arrested, Wheeling police took Severance into custody at 12:11 p.m., but did not serve the warrant until eight hours later at 10:39 p.m., according to the motion filed with the court. Three detectives from the Alexandria Police Department and FBI agents arrived during those eight hours, Welling asserts.
"Wheeling police learned that Alexandria authorities were on their way from Virginia and desired to speak with the respondent on an unrelated matter," the motion states.
Welling said the detainment, as well as the arrest is a violation of both the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution and the West Virginia constitution.
Prosecutor Scott Smith is expected to file a response to Welling's motion by Monday. A final hearing is set for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.
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