Charles Severance, who is charged with the deaths of three Alexandria residents over a ten-year period, searched for information about the chief judge of the city's juvenile and domestic relations court on his Dell laptop, police testified Tuesday.
Police searched the contents of several computers Severance had access to as part of the three homicide investigations. Those devices included computers taken from the home of his then-girlfriend Linda Robra, his parents' home, his own Dell laptop and a computer he had used at the public library in Wheeling, West Virginia, where Severance was arrested in March 2014.
Martin Hoffmaster, who is the computer forensic examiner for the Alexandria Police Department, told the jury that a forensic search of Severance's laptop turned up the Internet search of the judge, Constance Frogale.
Severance lost his parental custody rights in 2001. The custody suit, which reached the Virginia Court of Appeals, began in the Alexandria court system. Prosecutors say losing custody of his son Levite fueled an intense hatred of law enforcement, court officials and even what Severance referred to as the ruling class of the affluent city, and consider that hatred the motive behind the three killings.
All three victims — Nancy Dunning, Ron Kirby and Ruthanne Lodato — had deep ties to the community. Dunning's husband served as the city's sheriff at the time of her death. Lodato's brother was a city judge. And Ron Kirby was a regional transportation planner who was also active in the Alexandria community.
However police found no evidence that Severance had ever searched the Internet for any information about the three victims, their families nor directions to their homes, Hoffmaster said in court.
Prosecutors expect to call their final witness and to close its case this afternoon.
-WTOP's Megan Cloherty contributed to this report from Fairfax, Virginia.