Egypt Covington murder suspects plead guilty days before trial was set to begin

Two of the men charged in connection with Egypt Covington's 2017 murder pleaded guilty as their trial date neared.

Shandon Groom and Timothy Moore's trial was set to begin on July 24.

Both men pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. Moore also pleaded guilty to one county of felony firearm. Because of the pleas, charges of first-degree murder, felony murder, first-degree home invasion, and felony firearm were dismissed against the pair.

A third suspect, Shane Evans is currently in prison after pleading guilty to the same charge. He was sentenced to 15-25 years in May.

MORE: Egypt Covington murder suspect sentenced to 15-25 years

As part of his plea, Evans was going to testify against Groom and Moore at trial. 

What happened

According to previous court testimony from Evans, the men were hanging out in June 2017 when they decided they wanted to steal weed from Covington's neighbor, who was out of town. The men drove to the duplex in Van Buren Township and Evans said he pointed out which door was the correct one before driving away.

However, Groom and Moore entered the wrong door and instead went inside Covington's home and found her watching a movie. When they saw her, they shot her to death and allegedly wrapped her in Christmas lights.

Egypt Covington

After the murder, Van Buren police began investigating, but a break in the case wouldn't come until Michigan State Police took over the investigation in August 2020.

Evans and Moore were arrested in November 2020, more than three years after Covington's death. Groom was taken into custody in December 2020.

Cell phone records and GPS locations were used to place Evans, Moore, and Groom at the scene of the crime.

Prosecutors said the men also stole Covington’s cell phone, which pinged to the same location as their phones before they threw it away.

All three men were bound over for trial in 2021.

MSP said there was a fourth suspect, but they were shot and killed after the crime. 

What's next

Groom and Moore will be sentenced Oct. 5. 

Covington's family said avoiding the trials is a relief.

"We already saw them face to face so that check mark's done," said her brother D'Wayne Turner. "We don't need to sit and look through all the photos and all the evidence, things like that."