A former Madisonville police officer convicted of retaliation for planting methamphetamine on his ex-wife was sentenced Monday to five years on probation.
After being found guilty of the third-degree felony by a Brazos County jury Friday, Jeffrey Covington agreed to probation terms that include a 30-day jail stay and his waiving any right to appeal the verdict in exchange for the state dismissing pending charges of delivery of a controlled substance and official oppression. The Madison County case was moved to Brazos County after a change of venue request from attorneys David Glickler and Jonathan White with the Office of the Attorney General as well as local defense attorney Jim James.
Last week, jurors heard testimony from Covington's ex-wife, Laura Covington, who said she immediately suspected Jeff Covington was responsible for her being arrested after methamphetamine was found under her car in a magnetic key holder when a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper pulled her over for speeding in November 2011. The drug possession charge was eventually dismissed based on a lack of evidence and Laura Covington passing several drug tests.
According to testimony from Jeremy Kidd, a former police informant, the drugs were placed under Laura Covington's pickup by Kidd, who told jurors he was asked to plant the drugs by Justin Barham, Jeff Covington's co-defendant, who also worked as an officer for the Madisonville Police Department.
The DPS trooper who arrested Laura Covington testified for the state, saying Jeff Covington provided the specific location the trooper would find drugs if he were to stop and search her vehicle.
During the four-day trial, prosecutors asserted that Jeff Covington, who was in a child custody battle with his ex-wife, had Barham work with Kidd to plant the drugs on Laura Covington.
James argued the evidence didn't prove his client had anything to do with the drugs found on Laura Covington.
Charges against Barham are pending.