CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – When Virginia State Police (VSP) arrested Gary Morton, the 43-year-old denied being the driver of a car that led troopers on a high-speed chase through Chesapeake and Norfolk.

“You know that wasn’t me. I don’t even drive cars like that,” Morton told the arresting trooper.

Morton’s arrest was captured on dash camera footage, which 10 On Your Side’s investigative team obtained from VSP through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Morton was arrested in the early-morning hours of Aug. 20 – two days after his girlfriend, Marie Covington, was reported missing to the Virginia Beach Police Department. Her daughter told VBPD officers that Covington was last seen in her car with Morton leaving her Thalia Trace Drive home.

Although VSP originally pulled Morton over on suspicion of drunk driving, troopers quickly realized he was driving Covington’s car and that she was still missing.

“So, why was your phone in that car?” the trooper asked Morton. “Why is that car that was registered to somebody that was last seen with you?”

“You don’t know a Marie Darshaun Covington? Last seen with Gary Morton? That car belongs to this person. This person who is currently missing was last seen with you,” the trooper continued.

“I want to get where we going and talk to my lawyer,” Morton replied.

Inside the car, VSP found Morton’s cellphone, an open container of alcohol, and two concealed semi-automatic pistols.

“I got felonies,” Morton told the trooper.

“Oh so you got felonies? Convicted? There was two guns in the car,” the trooper responded.

“I won’t in that car,” Morton responded. “It don’t matter. Don’t even matter. Fingerprint them. Bet you ain’t gonna find mine on them.”

Covington’s body hadn’t been discovered when Morton was arrested by the VSP trooper around 4:40 a.m. on Aug. 20. She was found shot to death later that day in the 1000 block of Galt Street, shortly after VSP issued an Ashanti Alert in the case.

VBPD’s original investigating officers did not ask the VSP to issue an Ashanti Alert when they took the missing person’s report on Aug. 18. The delayed request for an Ashanti Alert led VBPD to conduct an internal investigation. It found the officers failed to meet department standards and expectations, and VBPD implemented a process improvement team to review its missing persons procedures as a result of the internal investigation.

Morton is charged with abduction, second-degree murder, and use of a firearm in connection to Covington’s death. He is currently awaiting trial. In a February court hearing, a detective testified that Morton claimed the couple was shot at while driving on Interstate 264 the day Covington went missing. Morton told detectives he returned fire at the unknown car and accidentally shot Covington in the head.

According to the detective, Morton drove around for a few hours before dumping her body in the garbage by an abandoned building in Norfolk.

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