Covington found guilty of felony retaliation

Dan Kleiner publisher@madisonvillemeteor.com
Posted 4/29/14

A Brazos County jury found former Madisonville Police Sgt. Jeffrey Covington guilty of third-degree felony retaliation Friday.

The jury deliberated for approximately eight hours before reaching a …

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Covington found guilty of felony retaliation

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A Brazos County jury found former Madisonville Police Sgt. Jeffrey Covington guilty of third-degree felony retaliation Friday.

The jury deliberated for approximately eight hours before reaching a verdict, and on Monday Covington was sentenced to five years probation and 30 days in the Madison County Jail.

Covington waived his right to an appeal in exchange for the state dismissing two other charges – delivery of a controlled substance and official oppression.

Covington stood accused of planting methamphetamine on Laura Covington, his former wife, during late 2011.

Covington was indicted on Feb. 25, 2013, by a Madison County grand jury on the two felonies and one misdemeanor charge. According to the Texas Attorney General’s Office, during the summer of 2011, Covington attempted to recruit several narcotics informants to plant methamphetamine on Laura Covington’s car.

Jeremy Kidd, a former police informant, testified that he placed the drugs under Laura Covington’s vehicle at the request of Justin Barham, a former Madisonville Police officer and Madison County District Attorney’s Investigator.

DPS Trooper Carl Clary, who arrested Laura Covington in 2011, testified that Jeff Covington provided him with the specific location where the drugs could be found.

The trial was moved to Brazos County and tried in the 272nd District Court after 12th District Court Judge Donald Kraemer granted a change of venue request. The trial started Wednesday as Laura Covington took the stand. Laura Covington detailed how her two children were taken away from her for more than a month after Jeff Covington informed a judge of Laura’s arrest and requested temporary custody.

Drug possession charges from the 2011 arrest were dropped against Laura Covington due to lack of evidence.

Other witnesses called by the prosecution included former police informant James Richards, who told jurors that Jeff Covington implied he wanted his help planting drugs on Laura Covington during a phone conversation.

April Covington testified on behalf of Jeff and characterized Laura’s behavior as abusive and stalking. Defense attorney Jim James called three other witnesses, including Covington’s father and Texas Ranger Andreas De La Garza, and argued that the evidence presented did not prove Jeff Covington’s connection to the drugs found on Laura.

Assistant attorney generals David Glickler and Jonathan White prosecuted the case for the state.

Charges against Barham are pending.

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