VAN BUREN TOWNSHIP, Mich. – One of three men charged in the 2017 Van Buren Township murder of Egypt Covington has pleaded guilty.
Egypt Covington, 27, was found dead on June 23, 2017. Her hands had been bound with string lights and she had been shot in the head.
A Sumpter Township this week man pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and faces up to life in prison in connection with Covington’s death. Two men from Toledo, Ohio, are also facing murder charges and are expected in court this year.
Family kept attention on murder case
Covington was found dead at 7:15 p.m. on June 23, 2017, in her home in the 45000 block of Hull Road in Belleville. Her hands had been bound with holiday string lights and she had been shot in the head.
Covington was described by family and friends as a very talented woman who could sing, play guitar, and had a captivating personality. She worked as a bartender at Fraser’s Pub in Ann Arbor and was an account manager.
At the time of her murder, Van Buren Township police said the crime did not appear to be random, and they believed she was killed by somebody she knew. Evidence presented in the 2021 trial disproved that theory.
For years, her family worked to keep attention on the case. In 2020, her family called on Michigan State Police to take the investigation over from the Van Buren Police Department.
Covington’s family said tips continued to come in on social media, including evidence about drugs playing a role in her murder. They wanted Michigan State Police to follow those new leads.
Billboards were created asking for more clues and marches were held in her honor. There was even a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Michigan State Police did take over the investigation.
Three men arrested, charged with murder
Three men were arrested and charged with Covington’s murder more than three years after her death.
In November 2020, police announced that two people had been arrested. Timothy Eugene Moore, of Toledo, Ohio, was arraigned and officially charged with one count of homicide on Nov. 8, 2020.
The second man they arrested, Shane Lamar Evans, of Sumpter Township, was initially released while police continued their investigation. He was arrested again and charged with murder and first-degree home invasion on Dec. 18, 2020.
Shandon Ray Groom, of Toledo, Ohio, was charged with murder and home invasion in late December 2020.
Groom and Moore are cousins and both lived in Toledo, Ohio. Evans lived three miles from Covington’s duplex.
Details come out during preliminary exam
In March 2021, details about the case came out in court during a preliminary exam.
Covington lived in a duplex and on the other side was a neighbor who ran a legal marijuana business.
“I knew he was out of town. I knew he was out of his house,” Evans said in the interview. “I said go to the right. I knew 100% no one was in that house. They went to the wrong door.”
On March 25, 2021, a judge ruled there was enough evidence to send all three men to trial on murder charges. The judge said it was essentially a confession when Evans said Moore and Groom went into the wrong unit at the Duplex, where Covington was home alone.
Evans pleads guilty to second-degree murder
Evans pleaded guilty to second-degree murder this year.
He is expected to be sentenced on May 4, 2023, and he faces up to life in prison.
Groom and Moore are also expected to appear in court this year.