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Fairfax judge appointed to Alexandria murder trial

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA9) - The same judge who presided over the trial of D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo will oversee the trial of Alexandria murder suspect Charles Severance.

The Supreme Court of Virginia appointed Fairfax County Circuit Court judge Jane Marum Roush after the judges in Alexandria recused themselves because shooting victim Ruthanne Lodato was related to a retired judge.

Charles Severance is accused of three high profile murders in Alexandria spanning more than a decade .

Severance faces the following charges:

Stratford University celebrates Alexandria grand opening

ALEXANDRIA (WUSA9) -- Stratford University opened a new campus in Alexandria, Va. on September 10.

Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille said that universities such as Stratford are helping Alexandria continue to evolve and grow "to become the best city in the country" while contributing to a local workforce where STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields represent the epicenter of the city's activities.

What does this mean to locals?

One hundred and thirty new jobs should matter to people in the area. That's what officials at Stratford University say the new building will bring to the economy.

Va. man pleads guilty to sex trafficking girl

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA9) -- A 24-year-old Alexandria man pleaded guilty Thursday to sex trafficking a 14-year-old girl, the US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia announced Friday.

Tayron Tyree Weeks, 24, of Alexandria, Va. pleaded guilty to engaging in the sex trafficking of a 14-year-old girl, authorities said.

Facts in the plea agreement showed that the man met the victim at the Braddock Road Metro Station and then took the girl to a friend's place in Alexandria, authorities said. Weeks had sexual contact with the girl, authorities stated. In addition to the sexual acts with the girl, Weeks asked the girl if she wanted to make money by selling her body.



City of Manassas residents can now use a more convenient way of receiving and paying their utility bill online. They have the option to pay by electronic check for free or pay a nominal fee to use their credit card. As of Sept. 1, the City of Manassas had more than 800 customers that have paid bills online, and almost 500 are using e-billing, enabling electronic notifications of due dates. For more information, go to www.manassascity.org or call 703-257-8219.

Customers choosing to pay their bills by mail or in-person, can continue to do so.

For those customers who register for e-billing now through Nov. 30, they will be automatically entered for a raffle to win an Ipod Nano.

Alexandria City schools locked down, no immediate threat

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA9) -- Alexandria City Public Schools are locked down Tuesday after a report of a person brandishing a weapon.

Dismissal will occur at normal school hours, with the exception of Maury Elementary School, school officials said.

There is no immediate threat to schools.

Police are circulating the area near the 300 block of Russell Road. Alexandria police are looking for a suspect in a brandishing that occurred outside Maury Elementary School.

The suspect is described as a black male with a medium complexion, 5'6" to 5'8", medium build with a "belly", with a short black mohawk style haircut.

He was wearing a black shirt, blue pants, black boots, and carrying what appeared to be a "long gun", according to police.

If you see someone matching this description call 9-1-1.

Charles Severance due in court for Alexandria murders

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA9) -- Triple Alexandria murder suspect Charles Severance is due in court Tuesday morning to face his charges.

Severance is now being held at one of the most secure jails in our region, the Alexandria William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center, where suspected terrorists are sometimes held.

On September 8, Severance was charged with three Alexandria murders: Ruthanne Lodato, killed in February; Ron Kirby, killed last November, and Nancy Dunning, killed 11 years ago.

All three victims were shot in their homes within just two miles of each other.

John Kelly, a neighbor of Lodato, says the family is grateful for the progress in the case.

"The reality is that it's a long legal process for the families. It serves as a painful reminder of the loss of Ruthanne and we also know it's a painful reminder for two other families," said Kelly.

Possible Cougar sightings in Fairfax

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA9) -- Two potential cougar sightings have Fairfax County Police urging citizens to take precautions.

In both cases the reports described a large cat, possibly a cougar near Riverside Elementary School on Old Mount Vernon Road in Alexandria.

Animal Control officers have searched the area but have found no evidence confirming the presence of the animal, police said.

The cat was described as sand or orange color and was estimated to be the size of a large dog with a tail equal to the length of its body, police said.

Authorities are working to set up wildlife cameras around the area and animal patrol will be patrolling.

Teachers and parents have been notified to take the necessary precautions to keep children safe, police said.