VAN BUREN TOWNSHIP, Mich. – One of the three men charged in the 2017 murder of Egypt Covington in Van Buren Township has been sentenced to prison.
Jacqueline Elizabeth Egypt Covington, 27, was found dead in June 2017 with a gunshot wound to the head and her hands bound with string lights.
Evans pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last month, and the other two are expected to be tried on murder charges later this year.
On Thursday, May 4, 2023, Evans was sentenced to 15-25 years in prison.
Covington lived in a duplex, and on the other side was a neighbor who ran a legal marijuana business. Evans said in court that he led the other two men to Covington’s duplex and told them the neighbor had marijuana that would be easy to steal.
A prosecutor used the phrase “robbery gone bad.”
“I knew he was out of town,” Evans said in a police interview. “I knew he was out of his house. I said, ‘Go to the right.’ I knew 100% no one was in that house. They went to the wrong door.”
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.
Moore, Evans, and Groom were arrested and charged with Covington’s murder more than three years after her death -- Moore and Evans in November 2020 and Groom the following month.
Groom and Moore are cousins from Toledo, Ohio. Evans lived three miles from Covington’s duplex.
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.
After Evans pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, he returned to court Thursday to learn his sentence.
Covington’s mother, sister, father, and brother all spoke and asked the judge for the maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.
“She was a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a Godmother, and a friend to many,” her mother, Tina Covington, said. “She was home. She was supposed to be in a place that was safe for her.”
Tina Covington said the loss has torn her family apart for six years and told the judge that he deserved 25 years in prison.
“He was the key to the crime, for its inception, and could have been the key to the family’s healing, but he chose not to,” Tina Covington said. “His silence for years means he was not sorry and should receive the maximum sentence allowed by law. Twenty-five years is nothing compared to the lifetime of pain that he has already and senselessly caused, that has afflicted so many.”
“Although the person at issue today ... was not the one inside of her home, and was not the one that pulled the trigger, he was the one that initiated the act that led to her death,” her sister, Jessica Covington, said. “And he was the one that went to school with her, that went to school with us, and he was the one that knew her as a human being, and he was also the one that once he realized what happened, did nothing. He is as culpable as the person that pulled the trigger.”
“The defendant is an individual who has no regard for human life,” her father, Chuck Covington said. “The defendant has expressed no credible remorse or explanation for what he did. He’s shown that he cannot and should not be part of society.
“He could have stepped forward in June of 2017. He didn’t. Year after year after year, he did nothing. We were left desperately searching for answers and some type of results.”
“Not only is our family torn, but our community is torn,” her brother, D’Wayne Turner, said.
After listening to the impact statements, the judge allowed Evans to speak briefly on his own behalf.
“I would like to apologize to the Covington family,” Evans said. “I’m sorry for each and every one of you for what I did. I know I’ve hurt y’all and I’m so sorry for what happened and I don’t know what to say. I’ve lost somebody, so I understand your pain, but that doesn’t mean for me to do anything like that or to do anything. Like I said, I’m so sorry. I would just ask you for your forgiveness. I understand if you don’t want to forgive me, but I’m truly sorry from the deepest part of my part, and what I’m about to go through, this time I’m about to go through, that it would give me time to -- I just don’t know what to say. I’m just so sorry. I can’t put into words of how sorry I am to you, to the Covington family.”
He was sentenced to 15-25 years in the Michigan Department of Corrections, per the sentencing agreement. He has 869 days of jail credit.
Here’s video of the full sentencing: