NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A man facing charges in the death of a Virginia Beach woman appeared in a Norfolk court for the first time Thursday.

43-year-old Gary Morton was arraigned in Norfolk General District Court on second-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony charges. He’s the suspect in the disappearance and death of 40-year-old Marie Covington.

Morton was assigned a public defender and scheduled for his next court date in Norfolk for October 19. He faces eight separate charges in three different Hampton Roads cities. Three of those charges are believed to be related to Covington’s disappearance and death.

His appearance in Norfolk court comes a little over a week since Covington was last seen by family on August 17.

An Ashanti Alert was issued late Saturday night by Virginia State Police. The alert was issued hours after Morton was arrested early Saturday morning.

Based on Saturday night scanner traffic, police say they found Covington’s body while talking to him following his arrest.

“State Police got in pursuit and it ended in Naval Base Road in Norfolk. They recovered her vehicle and arrested the person who was last seen with her, Gary Morton,” said an unnamed first responder over the scanner.

He appeared in a Chesapeake General District Court for an arraignment Monday for those traffic charges, including DWI.

Back in court Monday, Morton began to ask the judge a question about one of his charges, specifically about the second-degree murder charge. He’s currently being held without bond in Norfolk.

Some of Covington’s friends were in the courtroom for today’s arraignment as well and got emotional when he first appeared on the screen. It’s the first time they’re seeing the man accused of killing their friend.

Morton’s arraignment in Virginia Beach is scheduled for September 7.