VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A local pastor is issuing a warning about what he calls a silent killer. It’s not a medical condition, but the ripple effect created by domestic violence.
According to police, the mother of four was killed following a domestic dispute. Covington’s daughters, who are 19 and 18 years old, are now managing the care of their 9 and 14 year old brothers.
“I don’t even think we can pinpoint the damage it does. It’s a ripple effect,” said Jackson, in assessing how suspected domestic violence has affected the Covingtons and other families.
One month ago, family, friends, colleagues, and customers bid farewell to Covington at Jackson’s church. The mother of four was a beloved employee at the Wawa store on Holland Road in Virginia Beach.
According to police, Covington was killed sometime after August 17. Her boyfriend, Gary Morton, is charged with murder and the use of a firearm.
“So many lives she impacted: Black, white, Hispanic and Asian. She touched so many lives,” said Rev. Jackson as he reflected on Covington’s death.
Last week, Rev. Jackson and Rev. Johnathan Foster, Senior Pastor of New Mount Olive Baptist Church in Chesapeake, presented a plaque at the Holland Road Wawa store in memory of Covington.
“It was like her spirit showed up at Wawa all over again,” said Jackson in reflecting on the joy that filled the store when the plaque was presented.
One month after bidding farewell to Covington, pastor Jackson has a warning about partners who are in danger. A 10 On Your Side investigation revealed, and Morton’s mother confirmed, Morton is a suspect in three previous domestic violence cases involving three other women.
“Find somebody you can talk to. I know that there are many pastors, leaders in the community, leaders in the neighborhood, and mothers and fathers that would be willing to help in their own way. We got to do our part but know that you don’t have to tolerate being in situations like that,” said Rev. Jackson.
Covington died just as her sons were preparing to return to classes for the new school year. Their sister Carla told 10 On Your Side every contribution helps, but few donations have been made since the funeral.
If you or you know someone who may be a victim of domestic violence or child abuse, click here for a list of local and national resources.