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Severance bond set back to $100,000 cash

Updated: Wednesday, March 19 2014, 06:30 PM EDT


WHEELING, W.Va.— The man many say is wanted in connection with three high-profile murders out of Alexandria, Va., was back in court for a bond hearing Wednesday.

Charles Severance will remain in the West Virginia Northern Regional Jail unless he can produce $100,000 cash-only bond.

Ohio County Prosecutor Scott Smith argued that Alexandria law enforcement wanted to interview Severance, and when he found out, he sought asylum from the Russian Embassy and later fled to Wheeling.

Smith called Severance a flight-risk and a danger. However, Public Defender Shayne Welling said the arrest in Wheeling was a “sham.”

“Are we considering this a homicide case or is this a sham arrest?” Welling asked. “We have no information. Only a single document holding respondent.”

The state presented evidence of two prior convictions—one in 1997 and the other in 2005, both weapons charges.

Welling said the warrant was issued after Severance arrived in Wheeling.

“He has a constitutional right to travel as anyone does,” Welling said. “He was held at Wheeling PD for an 8-hour window and he doesn't know why he was held. Was it in order to interrogate on a separate offense?”
Welling said Severance was in town sight-seeing.
“Wheeling is a tourist destination for history buffs,” Welling said.

He added that Severance is being held unlawfully and called it “improper.”
“I believe there is a reason we seceded from Virginia, and I believed this is it,” Welling said.

Judge James Mazzone denied the state's motion to modify bond.

“On Monday, the state indicated it was seeking modification of bond because Mr. Severance was a flight-risk and danger to public. They have shown allegations, but not evidence,” Mazzone said.

Another hearing is scheduled for March 31 for extradition. Stick with NEWS9 and WTOV9.com for the latest.

Severance bond set back to $100,000 cash

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