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Severance defense wraps up testimony | News

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Severance defense wraps up testimony

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA9) -- The parents of Charles Severance, Stan and Virginia Severance were furious as the prosecution ended with a rebuttal witness.

The detective  testified that the parents told him they had a dead bolt on the door to their basement to keep their son from having access to the whole house. 

Earlier in the trial, Mrs. Severance disputed she ever said that.  As defense wrapped up its case, an investigator countered  many prosecution claims. One is that he fled from police.  But the investigator read from an email written just before his arrest in which he stated that he was looking to rent an apartment in Wheeling, WV. 

Also in the 2003 Target Video the man purported to be Severance following victim Nancy Dunning, walks in 46 minutes after her.  In addition, a new portion of the video was seen. The video shows Dunning shopping for some time, with nobody following her. 

The investigator's photos taken near the home of Ron Kirby, killed in Nov. of 2013,  are from the spot a plumber said he saw a man resembling Severance.  But the photos show it would be hard  to see what the plumber described. 

Severance's red Ford Escort car was  allegedly seen on a security video near Ruthanne Lodato's home the morning she was killed in February of 2014.  An historical canon a mile away, could explain what Severance was doing there. 

The investigator also pointed out his numerous writings as not evidence of murder, but an avid interest in revolutionary and frontier history. His signature phrase, 'Tomahawking a homestead in the backwoods of America' came from a historical marking in Graysville, PA.

The defense also spotlighted Severance's games, letters, historical and scholarly writings showing he wrote about more than killing. 

Their son became defiant with judge Bellows as he was in pre-trial hearings.  The jury was in recess, when the judge  asked Severance if he knows he has a right to testify. Severance replied: " A man witnessing against himself. That's a 1791 idea ." He then proceeded to give a history lesson on the origins of the 5th amendment. 

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