Covington awaits extradition in murder case; police describe child’s fatal injuries in court documents

Published 6:05 am Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Demetrius Covington

Demetrius Covington

A Carter County man charged with first-degree murder in the death of his young step-son is awaiting an extradition hearing in Ohio while local authorities have released additional details regarding the case against him.
On Nov. 21, investigators with the Elizabethton Police Department filed a charge of aggravated child neglect against 28-year-old Demetrius Deshawn Covington (also known as Demetrius Somerville) related to an investigation that began on Nov. 18. However, the 3-year-old child died on Nov. 22 at Niswonger Children’s Hospital as a result of his injuries and police upgraded the charge against Covington to first-degree murder that same day.
Officers had been looking for Covington since the Nov. 18 incident. On Nov. 21, the EPD requested the public’s help in locating Covington, leading to a multi-state search involving the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Marshals Service. Late on the night of Nov. 23, both the EPD and the TBI confirmed Covington had been captured in Dayton, Ohio, by local authorities there with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force.
As of Monday, Covington was still being held in the Montgomery County Ohio jail awaiting a court hearing to extradite him back to Tennessee to face the murder charge.
“We have received information that he will have an extradition hearing later this week, but we do not know the exact day,” EPD Capt. Joy Shoun said on Monday.
On Monday the Elizabethton Star obtained copies of both the original and the upgraded warrants on Covington from the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office.
According to court documents, the investigation began on Friday, Nov. 18, when the child’s mother called 911 to report her son was having trouble breathing. The investigation revealed the 3-year-old child had been left in the care of his stepfather, Covington, while the child’s mother was at work, EPD Sgt. Christopher Bowers said in the warrant against Covington.
“At some point, the mother of the child was contacted by Covington who indicated the child may have fallen while in the bathtub, was now spitting up, and requested she come home,” Bowers said.
The mother reported to investigators she returned home and saw the child was having difficulty breathing so she decided to take him to the hospital. While on her way to the hospital, the child’s condition worsened and the mother pulled over to begin CPR on her son. Emergency medical personnel and police officers responded to the scene and transported the child first to Sycamore Shoals Hospital and then later to Niswonger Children’s Hospital.
“Upon observation, the child was found to have numerous bruises over his face, neck, torso, back, bottom, legs, and foot,” Bowers said. “The child became unresponsive and was placed on life support. Medical testing revealed that the child had internal injuries, including swelling in the brain and a subdural hematoma.”
“The injuries suffered by the child were considered non-accidental trauma and were not self-inflicted,” he added. “The child remained on life support until Nov. 22, 2016, when the child was pronounced dead from the injuries he had suffered.”
Bowers requested the court issue a warrant charging Covington under a state law that allows police to charge a suspect with first-degree murder if the victim dies during the commission of certain categories of felony crimes, in this case aggravated child abuse/neglect. The court issued the warrant as requested by Bowers.

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