Sentencing in murder case nears as final witness disputes Covington bipolar diagnosis

Published Dec. 11, 2014

TAMPA — A second psychiatrist testified for the state Thursday that Lutz killer Edward Covington is a psychopath, not a man driven by bipolar disorder.

Dr. Emily Lazarou, the last witness to testify in the sentencing phase of Covington's trial, said he knew the criminality of his actions when he killed his girlfriend, her two children and the family dog in 2008.

"They make rules for themselves," Lazarou said of psychopaths. "It's just a way of life for people like this."

Covington faces the death penalty. His lawyers have previously said he should be spared because he is mentally ill. Five psychiatrists and psychologists affirmed that view, but last month, another psychiatrist discredited it.

Hillsborough Circuit Judge William Fuente gave attorneys until Jan. 23 to submit sentencing memos, which will clear the way for a decision.