The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office charged a man with first degree murder for the death of an eight-year-old child.
On Thursday, October 22, 2020, the child’s mother called 911 asking for help because her child was struggling to breathe and had become unresponsive. The child was transported to Brandon Hospital and then airlifted to John’s Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. Doctors discovered several large areas of contusions, welts, scarring, and small lacerations on the child’s lower back and rear area. Attempts to stabilize the child were unsuccessful and the eight-year-old died a day later.
During interviews, detectives learned the child’s mother’s boyfriend, Tyrone Covington, 40, had abused the victim with a belt. Autopsy results concluded the child’s death was caused by blunt trauma and ruled it a homicide.
HCSO issued a warrant for Covington’s arrest and on Monday, February 1, 2021, the suspect was taken into custody by the St. Petersburg Police Department.
“This was not merely a form of punishment. The excessive beating this child endured ultimately led to his death,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “Our hearts ache as we investigate this horrific case of child abuse. While no punishment will ever bring this young child back, we hope a First Degree Murder charge keeps this man where he deserves to be: Jail.”