FAIRFAX, Va. - Jurors in the capital murder trial of Charles Severance saw evidence and heard extensive testimony about last year's killing of music teacher Ruthanne Lodato on Friday.
The jury in this case heard about projectiles that were found inside her house, DNA that was found in the home and on Lodato’s fingers as well as fingerprints that were found at the scene.
The jury was told when Lodato answered the door of her Alexandria home on February 6, 2014, she was wearing a green shirt and yoga pants. A bloodied shirt taken out of an evidence bag was shown along with a photo of the scene inside the room where she laid wounded.
The medical examiner said Lodato sustained two gunshot wounds -- one to her arm and one to her chest. She was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
At the autopsy, a DNA lab technician testified scrapings from her fingernails were recovered and tested for male DNA. However, Severance was not a match.
The jury was also told by a crime scene technician that he found two projectiles and four bullet fragments inside Lodato’s home. Five of them were found in the kitchen and one was in the living room.
The same technician said he found 14 fingerprints at the crime scene and none of them matched Severance. Eleven were never matched to anyone.
Lodato's husband, Norman, took the stand and told the court he and his wife were married for more than 36 years and had lived on Ridge Road Drive for most of them. He told the court he did not know Ronald Kirby, and only his wife knew Nancy Dunning, the other two victims in this case.
Norman Lodato, under questioning from the prosecution, also told the court his wife's father and brother were once judges in the city of Alexandria.
That last part of the testimony was important because the prosecutors wanted the jury to hear their theory that Severance wanted revenge for losing a custody battle in the city of Alexandria in the early 2000s and that he wanted to lash out against the Alexandria elite.
However, even though Lodato was related to those two judges in Alexandria, there is no evidence that they ever heard any cases involving Severance.
Late Friday afternoon, prosecutors in the case played the jury a video of a red Ford Escort driving along Braddock Road right around 11:30 a.m. on February 6, 2014, the exact same time and date that Ruthanne Lodato was murdered. Prosecutors believe Severance was inside that car.
The car in the video and Charles Severance’ actual car, a 1999 Ford Escort, were put side-by-side in photographs and they appeared to look identical.
The jury will hear more evidence in this case on Tuesday.