Egypt Covington’s accused killers targeted wrong house, meant to steal marijuana from neighbor

Egypt Covington

Court testimony this week revealed that Egypt Covington’s accused killers were trying to rob her neighbor when they murdered her in her Van Buren home in 2017.

Covington lived in a duplex on Hull Road. According to court testimony, she was friends with the person who lived on the other side and would often leave the interior door open so they could go back and forth.

Read: Mystery surrounds Detroit-area singer found murdered in own home

On June 23, 2017, the 27-year-old local singer was found dead in her duplex. She was shot in the head and bound with lights.

Shane Lamar Evans, of Sumpter Township, Timothy Eugene Moore, and Shandon Ray Groom, both of Toledo, are all charged in connection with Covington’s death.

Timothy Eugene Moore and Shandon Ray Groom

Early in the investigation, police believed that Covington knew her killer, but testimony in court revealed that was not true.

Read More: Ex-boyfriend ID'd as person of interest in death of Van Buren Township woman

According to court testimony, Covington’s duplex neighbor kept marijuana in his home, was a licensed caregiver, and had talked about it on local programs. His home had been burglarized prior to Covington’s murder and marijuana had been stolen.

That neighbor and Covington used to attend Electric Forest, a music festival held each June, together. The neighbor was at the festival at the time of Covington’s murder, but she had chosen not to go in 2017 because she had started a new job. 

The crime was set up because the men involved believed no one would be home, according to testimony.

In an interview with investigators, Evans told police that he was with his brother and cousin when they wanted some weed. He said he did yard maintenance at the duplex and knew it would be unoccupied and that marijuana was kept in the home.

Shane Lamar Evans

According to testimony, Evans told police he pointed out which home was going to be burglarized but did not want to participate in the crime and was not involved.

MORE: 'She had the voice of an angel' - two years later, Egypt Covington's killing remains unsolved

Evans said he drove by the home and pointed out which one was the correct one. Moore, Groom, and another person were allegedly in a truck behind him.

"I put my hand out the window, and I pointed, ‘That’s the right house,’" he said. "‘The right house,’ and I kept going."

Evans also claimed he explained which door the men needed to enter.

But Moore and Groom are accused of breaking into the wrong side of the duplex. Covington was inside watching a movie.

Egypt Covington was killed while watching a movie in her Van Buren home on June 22, 2017.

In an interview, Evans said Moore texted him, "Wrong door." Evans said he didn't remember replying to the text and claimed he found out about Covington's death when he saw a news report.

"He (Moore) was like 'Do you wanna know what happened?' and I said, 'No, don't never wanna know what happened,'" Evans said.

The Van Buren Police Department had been investigating the murder, and Michigan State Police began investigating in August 2020.

Related: Protest march held on 3rd anniversary of Egypt Covington's unsolved murder

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 have been bound over for trial.

MORE: Men accused of murdering Egypt Covington head to trial

Moore is charged with first-degree murder, felony murder, and first-degree home invasion, as well as four counts of felony firearm. Groom is charged with first-degree murder, felony murder, and first-degree home invasion, and three counts of felony firearm. Evans is charged with felony murder and first-degree home invasion.

Watch the preliminary exam and hear Evans' interview below: