logo



Accused Elizabethton child killer captured in Ohio

Johnson City Press • Updated Nov 24, 2016 at 5:04 PM

ELIZABETHTON — A man accused of first-degree murder in the death of a 3-year-old boy was captured in Dayton, Ohio, on Wednesday evening, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Demetrius Deshawn Covington, 28, was placed on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s 10 Most Wanted List on Tuesday, after the child, Ja’Kari Phillips, was pronounced dead. Covington was said to be the boy’s stepfather.

The TBI press release said Covington, also known as Demetrius Somerville, was located at an apartment complex on Central Avenue in Dayton. He was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force and the Dayton Police Department.

Covington will be held in the Montgomery County Jail in Dayton, awaiting extradition to Tennessee.

The arrest came on the same day that Capt. Joy Shoun of the Elizabethton Police Department had announced the Marshal’s Service was assisting in the search. “We have a lot of people searching for him right now,” Shoun said Wednesday morning. “We want to bring this man to justice, so he can have his day in court.”

The Elizabethton Police Department had been searching for Covington since Friday, Nov. 18, when Ja’Kari’s mother rushed him to the emergency room. According to the unserved arrest warrant, Covington was watching the child that day while his mother was at work. Covington called her and told her she needed to come home because Ja’Kari had fallen in the bathtub and was injured.

The mother told police she arrived at her residence and found the child having difficulty breathing and decided to take him to the emergency room. She was en route when JaKari’s breathing became much worse. She phoned 911 for help. As a result, she stopped the car and began administering CPR.

Police officers quickly responded to the 911 call and took over administering CPR until the boy could be taken to the hospital. The child was initially listed in critical condition.

EPD Investigator Christopher Bowers said “upon observation, Phillips was found to have numerous bruises over his face, neck, torso, back, bottom, legs and foot.” He said the child became unresponsive and was placed on life support.

The warrant reported medical testing revealed “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.”

Covington left the residence while the mother and child went to the hospital and he was not found until his arrest in Ohio on Wednesday. He was initially charged with aggravated child neglect on Monday. That charge was upgraded to first-degree murder on Tuesday, after Ja’Kari was pronounced dead.

 

 

A man wanted in the death of a 3-year-old Elizabethton boy was captured Wednesday in Ohio, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced early Thursday morning.

Demetrius Covington, 28, was found late Wednesday at an apartment complex on Central Avenue in Dayton. He was arrested by members of the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force and Dayton police.

Covington, also known as Demetrius Somerville, was wanted by the Elizabethton Police Department and the TBI in connection with the death of 3-year-old Ja’Kari Phillips. Covington is charged with first-degree murder.

He was being in the Montgomery County Jail in Dayton, Ohio, pending extradition to Tennessee.

Covington had been added to the TBI’s 10 Most Wanted List on Tuesday after the boy was pronounced dead, and the U.S. Marshals Service joined the search.

According to Covington’s arrest warrant, Phillips’ mother went to work Nov., 18 and left the boy with Covington, who was described as the boy’s stepfather. While at work, the mother was contacted by Covington, who told her Ja’Kari may have fallen in the bathtub and was spitting up.

The mother told police she got home and found the child having trouble breathing and decided to take him to the emergency room. En route, the child’s conditioned worsened, and the mother stopped to administer CPR. Police responded to her 911 call and took over administering CPR until the boy could be taken to the hospital. The child was initially listed in critical condition.

Police said Phillips had numerous bruises over his face, neck, torso, back, bottom, legs and foot. The boy became unresponsive and was placed on life support. The warrant reported medical testing revealed “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.”

Covington reportedly left the residence while the mother took Ja’Kari to the hospital. An arrest warrant was issued for Covington, charging him with aggravated child neglect.

Phillips remained on life support until Tuesday, when he was pronounced dead from his injuries. The charges against Covington were then upgraded to first-degree murder.

Covington was described by law enforcement officers as a known member of the Bloods street gang.

Johnson City Press Videos