Man wanted in 3-year-old’s murder arrested in Dayton

Demetrius Covington (Courtesy: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN/WKRN) –  A 28-year-old man who was added to the state’s Top 10 Most Wanted List in the death of a toddler was arrested in Dayton Wednesday night.

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Demetrius Covington—aka Demetrius Somerville—is accused of killing his three-year-old step-son, Ja’Kari Phillips, in Tennessee.

Covington was arrested in the 200 block of Central Avenue in Dayton with the assistance of the U.S. Marshal’s Office.

“Being that it’s the holidays, that makes it important that we do get this subject off the street,” said Dayton Police Sgt. Creigee S. Coleman. “With the seriousness of this crime, it could have been a heightened situation. But the crews acted responsibly. They acted with great resistance and they used their tactics and brought this peaceful conclusion again without the use of gunfire and without the use of anybody getting hurt.”

Covington is reportedly a known ‘Bloods’ gang member, according to our affiliate WKRN.

Ja'Kari Phillips (Courtesy WCYB)
Ja’Kari Phillips (Courtesy WCYB)

Covington faces first-degree murder charges from the Elizabethton Police Department.

Tennessee investigators said Covington hadn’t been seen since Friday after calling the child’s mother at work to say the boy was injured. The mother came home and decided to take her son to the hospital. While en route, the child’s condition worsened and she called 911.

Authorities say the child was hospitalized in critical condition and had numerous injuries. He died Tuesday. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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