Convicted Murderer Receives Second Motion to Modify Sentence

Thank you for reading Baltimore Witness. Help us continue our mission into 2024.

Donate Now

A 37-year-old murder convict was granted a second motions hearing to modify his sentence on Sept. 21 after first having his sentence modified in 2015.

Following his trial before Judge Emanuel Brown in April 2010, Donnell Covington was found guilty of first-degree murder and use of a deadly weapon with the intent to injure in connection to an incident on May 7, 2008. Covington was sentenced to life for first-degree murder, and a concurrent three years for use of a deadly weapon with the intent to injure.

Covington had two co-defendants, Tiffany Lowery and Paul Hartsel Teaney.

Although Covington had filed an appeal after his conviction, the conviction was affirmed.

Judge Brown lessened the defendant’s sentence in June 2015 to life, suspending all but 40 years, with five years supervised probation for first-degree murder, following the defendant’s motion for modification.

On Tuesday, Covington’s defense attorney, Brendan Costigan, told Judge Christopher L. Panos that the defendant had filed a second motion to modify his sentence the day after his sentence was first changed six years ago. However, Covington’s prior counsel failed to file for the hearing within the 90-day requirement.

Costigan said he and the prosecution agreed to allow Covington to file a belated hearing for a second request for motion for modification. Under the agreement, Covington must waive his right to ever raise another claim in connection with post-conviction relief. In return, the prosecution will not oppose Covington’s belated request for the hearing but reserves the right to oppose the modification of his sentence.

“The state believes the issue has merit, and it wouldn’t be just for the state to object,” the prosecutor said.

Judge Panos approved the request for a belated motions hearing, which has not yet been scheduled, according to the Maryland Judiciary website.

Follow this case