The Largo criminal defense lawyer who accused a woman of stealing from him and getting his wife addicted to drugs is taking it all back.
Rather than trying to obtain a no contact order against the woman, lawyer John Trevena, whose highest-profile client is accused parking lot shooter Michael Drejka, is now living with the woman — the sister-in-law of former television news anchor Reginald Roundtree — as a couple.
Trevena filed notices on Wednesday that he was dropping the requests for no contact orders against Deena Covell, 41, and her supposed former fiance, Michael Reeves. There had been four requests filed: two were filed by Trevena against Covell and Reeves, and two were filed by the lawyer's estranged wife, Meredith Trevena, also against Covell and Reeves.
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"We worked things out," John Trevena, 57, said Wednesday. "All issues were resolved favorably and Ms. Covell and I are now residing together as a couple, and there are no issues between us."
It's a sudden and strange pivot in a tale that spilled over from court documents, serving as the basis for the firing last week of Roundtree and enveloping a second of Drejka's attorneys in scandal.
The saga became public Jan. 18, when Trevena and his wife filed petitions for injunctions against Covell and Reeves filled with salacious accusations. Trevena wrote that Roundtree, who is married to Covell's sister and whom Trevena described in court documents as his "former best friend," had introduced him to Covell in September. He said the television anchor asked Trevena to take Covell in and employ her. Trevena wrote “she was homeless, unemployed and despondent," and later said he took her in and hired her without a background check because Roundtree vouched for her.
In the same court documents, Trevena accused Covell of moving her fiance, Michael Reeves, into Trevena's Sand Key condominium without the lawyer's permission. The pair then began using hard drugs, Trevena wrote, and got Meredith Trevena hooked. Covell and Reeves also stole jewelry, cars, a gun and cash, John Trevena alleged in the court documents.
Meredith Trevena, 33, also wrote in her petition for injunction against Covell that Covell “persuaded me to leave my husband for someone ‘younger’ who would be more agreeable to ‘party’ with me.” The Trevenas are undergoing a divorce, filed in December.
John Trevena also wrote that Covell was calling his client list and the media to defame him and ruin his career.
But with the notices of voluntary dismissal that Trevena filed Wednesday, he and his wife take it all back, the lawyer said, including the circumstances of their introduction to Covell by Roundtree.
"The fact that he introduced me to Ms. Covell in the end was not a negative, and I apologize deeply for any implication that he was somehow responsible for any allegations that were alleged," Trevena said. "I could see how someone might interpret that to be that he was somehow responsible for the allegations therein, and that was never the intent. How's Reginald Roundtree responsible for his sister-in-law's, or my behavior? That's unfair to him."
Roundtree, 60, a former Miami police officer and 30-year reporter, was fired last week after an internal review, according to WTSP parent company TEGNA. Roundtree's attorney Wil Florin, another high-profile Pinellas lawyer, said TEGNA told them the news anchor's dismissal was over questions raised in a recent Tampa Bay Times article regarding Roundtree's journalistic ethics. Florin said Roundtree denies doing anything wrong, and believes he was fired in retaliation for an age discrimination complaint he filed against TEGNA and WTSP.
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Roundtree declined to comment, though Florin provided a statement: "Mr. Trevena's difficulties have absolutely nothing to do with Reggie Roundtree and they never did. We know it and TEGNA, the corporation that ended Reggie’s 30-year broadcasting career solely because of his age, knows it as well ".
Trevena is the second of Drejka's lawyers to be mired in scandal. Lysa Clifton faces a bar complaint over her alleged solicitation of Drejka while he was in jail on a manslaughter charge and was later arrested on a DUI charge. She withdrew from Drejka's defense.
Last week, a third lawyer joined Drejka's defense team. William Flores, who is representing Drejka in a delinquent tenant case, signed on as third chair in the manslaughter case. Like Clifton, he also had a recent DUI arrest, and was convicted in December. He joins Trevena and Tampa lawyer Bryant Camareno.