Murder Suspect Sought Asylum

WHEELING – A man arrested Thursday in Wheeling and being investigated in a string of murders in Alexandria, Va. over the past 10 years reportedly sought asylum earlier this month at the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., shortly after police said it appeared as if the same man was behind the killings.

Wheeling police arrested Charles Stanard Severance, 53, on Thursday at the Ohio County Public Library on an outstanding weapons charge from Virginia. By Friday, word had spread that Severance may be the man linked to the three Alexandria murders, with officials in that city noting police were investigating any link between him and those killed.

Severance, who had been staying at the Knights Inn in downtown, formerly the Wheeling Inn, was using one of the library’s public computers when arrested.

A library official said federal authorities, using a search warrant, confiscated the computer to have it analyzed.

Severance is in the Northern Regional Jail on $100,000 bond.

According to published reports, the Russian embassy in Northwest Washington, D.C., said Severance showed up about a week ago looking for asylum. He was asked to leave the property.

Severance previously ran twice for Alexandria mayor as an independent candidate. He also ran for Congress in 1996.