(WJLA) - Court records detail a nasty child custody dispute between Charles Severance and Tamela Nichols beginning in 2000 regarding their 11-month-old son.
The couple was not married, but had been living together at this home on Gunston Road in Alexandria since January of 1999. One year later, Nichols made it clear that she was leaving, and according to court documents, on March 15, 2000, she went to the home with her mother and a police escort to get clothes for her and the baby.
But Severance had changed the locks on the door – so Nichols tried to enter through the window.
Once inside, court papers state: “Mr. Severance came after her in a threatening way…police heard her screams…Ms. Nichols is terrified of Mr. Severance…”
Police found a handgun on a pillow in the home, along with a rifle on the kitchen table – ammo laid out throughout the house, plus gas masks on a rocking chair.
In an incident report questionnaire, Nichols recalled a prior incident:
“When I arrived home, my son had a golf ball-size knot on his forehead. Charles would not tell me what happened."
The questionnaire continued to ask, “What are you afraid the defendant might do?” Nichols replied: “Find another gun and possibly kill me or my son.
Severance, acting as his own legal counsel, fought against an appeal, calling Nichols a “confessed, calculating adulteress who deserves the benefit of punishment, not an award.”
But in 2011, after years of court action, a judge had Severance’s final appeal dismissed.