Working with the FBI, Alexandria police had 1,300 leads to follow after the fatal shooting of Ruthanne Lodato in February 2014.
Lodato's death investigation produced a sketch of her attacker and surveillance footage from a neighboring home yielded a red car that helped lead police to the man they say killed Lodato plus Ron Kirby and Nancy Dunning: Charles Severance.
As part of their investigation, police tried to locate red Ford Escorts from model year 1999 in the region. They found 32 - but found none with a bumper sticker, a dented quarter panel and the same metal wheels as seen on the car in the surveillance footage.
Alexandria Det. Sgt. David Cutting told the jury that police identified Severance by comparing a photo of his car taken by Secret Service agents, following their interaction with him at the Russian Embassy, and an image caught by a neighbor's surveillance camera of a red car leaving Lodato's neighborhood about the time she was killed at her front door.
Police were able to determine the make, model and model of that red car and noted a dent on the side and a white-looking bumper sticker.
Severance's car had a unique black and white, circular bumper sticker that reads "Assassination City Derby," a roller derby league in Dallas, Texas. The red car bumper, complete with sticker, made an appearance in court earlier in the trial.
Severance drove the vehicle to Wheeling, West Virginia, where he was arrested in mid March 2014. He was also driving a red Ford Escort wagon when he was arrested in Rockingham County, Virginia, in 2004 on a charge of carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.
A firearms expert testified in court Tuesday that the bullets used to kill three Alexandria residents were the same size, brand and style.
Julien Mason described the bullets he analyzed for the murders of Nancy Dunning, Ron Kirby and Ruthanne Lodato and determined the ammunition was .22-caliber, long rifle, plain lead, hollow point and were low velocity bullets made by Remington.
Mason, who works for Virginia's state forensic lab in Manassas, told the jury that the bullets that killed the three victims are designed to be quieter when fired.
The ballistic analysis of the bullets provided Alexandria police with the first concrete piece of evidence linking all three fatal shootings and is an important component of prosecutors' case against Charles Severance, the man charged with the three murders.
Police also found the same type of ammunition in Severance's parents' basement, where he kept some of his belongings.
Last week, an official from Remington testified about the company's bullets and when the bullets collected from the shootings were manufactured. Kris Carson testified that the bullets found in the basement were made in 2001. The subsonic bullets are used for small game or target practice.
Prosecutors say Severance was fascinated by the .22-caliber bullet and wrote about it numerous times in his voluminous writings. However those writings have ye to come up as they have presented their evidence against him, save for references during opening statements and submitting four binders full of those writings into evidence.
Severance's defense team is expected to explore those writings when they begin to offer counter testimony and evidence this week.
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.