20-Year-Old Sentenced for Gun Charge in 2014 Shooting Death Case

A Connecticut 20-year-old has been sentenced to 10 years in prison on a weapons charge stemming from a 2014 fatal shooting in New Haven in which he remains a suspect.

The New Haven Register reported that 20-year-old Jeffrey Covington was sentenced Tuesday after he was convicted of criminal possession of a firearm.

A deadlocked jury led to a mistrial in the October prosecution of Covington for the March 24, 2014 shooting that killed Taijhon Washington, 17, of New Haven, and injured his 16-year-old half-brother, Travon, but he was found guilty of a weapons charge, according to the New Haven Superior Court clerk's office.

Covington was charged April 16, 2014 with murder, first-degree assault and discharging a firearm and carrying a pistol without a permit after Washington was shot and killed near an elementary school in the area of Butler and Lilac streets and his half-brother was critically injured. 

Both teens were found lying on the sidewalk near Lincoln Bassett Elementary School.

Covington, who had pleaded not guilty of the charges, was convicted for carrying a pistol without a permit. A mistrial was declared for the murder and assault charges involving the discharge of a firearm charge when the jury couldn't agree on the murder charge.

The cause of Taijhon Washington's death was determined to be gunshots to the chest, according to the affidavit.

As police investigated, they received a tip about Covington bragging about being responsible for the homicide, according to the affidavit. The documents also say there had been a history of issues because the suspect and his friends and the victims.

According to one statement police received, Covington said one of the victims had snitched on him. 

Police arrested Covington and picked him up on an outstanding probation violation warrant.

When Covington initially spoke with police, he denied any involvement in the shootings or being near the scene at all. 

He said he learned about the shooting after watching the news, but admitted to having a problem with one of his family members, according to court documents.

Covington was being held in custody on a $2 million bond. 

Senior Assistant State's Attorney John Doyle Jr. says Covington will be retried on the murder charge. He pleaded not guilty at his initial trial.

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