The murder trial of Charles Severance has been set for Oct 5., 2015. The hearing last week, presided over by Fairfax County Circuit Judge Jane Marum Roush, also addressed the defense’s motion to remove Severance’s shackles and whether or not cameras would be allowed in the courtroom.
“This is a very do-able trial date, despite the complexity of the case,” said Roush. “It’s not engraved in stone, but it is very firm.”
On account of Severance’s good behavior since his arrival in the Arlington jail four weeks ago, the defense requested that Severance be allowed out of his handcuffs, which they claim are causing pain and limiting his ability to communicate. Roush denied the motion, saying the handcuffs are there due to the nature of the charges and that she would not tell the sheriff how to run the jail.
The media, represented by attorney David Warrington, motioned to permit electronic coverage of the trial, with the understanding that the court has the authority to turn them off whenever necessary. Roush has been on both sides of the issues, opposing their use during 2003 trial of beltway sniper Lee Boyd Malvo, but allowing full video coverage in the trial 2013 trial of Julio Blanco Garcia. The ruling on the Severance case was in between; allowing one still camera in the courtroom for pre-trial coverage, but Roush said she still needed to consider what electronic media would be allowed during the trial.