Judge Allows Man Accused Of 3 Murders To Point Finger At Former Sheriff


FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — Defense lawyers for a man accused of killing three Alexandria residents over a 10-year span will be allowed to present evidence that a former sheriff was responsible for one of the deaths.

At a pretrial hearing Thursday, Judge Randy Bellows reversed an earlier ruling and is allowing lawyers for Charles Severance of Ashburn to point the finger at Alexandria Sheriff James Dunning for the 2003 slaying of Nancy Dunning.

Prosecutors objected, saying the defense theory wrongly drags Dunning’s name through the mud. Dunning was a suspect in his wife’s killing for years but was never charged.

Authorities now say they believe Severance killed Nancy Dunning and two other prominent Alexandria residents to seek revenge against what he perceived as the city’s ruling class for losing a child custody case.

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