Tony Wayne Covey

Commonwealth v. Tony Wayne Covey

Pulaski County Circuit Court

Case Numbers CR09-638

Case Presented by K. Mike Fleenor, Jr.


First Degree Murder, Serving Life


One of the most violent and brutal murders of note was the sad death of Shelby Cline at the hands of Tony Wayne Covey. The two had been together, although not married for some time and had recently moved to Pulaski County when the incident occurred. On a cold evening in February, 2009 Pulaski Police received a call from Covey saying that someone had “killed his wife.” Officers found Shelby Cline partially clothed in her bed. The sheets and mattress were covered in so much blood that it had soaked through the mattress and onto the floor below. She was virtually decapitated.

Covey stated that earlier in the evening that he and Cline had been to a bar in downtown Pulaski and had argued on the way home. Cline then told him to get out of her car and she left him on the West End of Main Street approximately a mile from their rented home. Covey said he walked back to their residence and found Cline dead. He said that a few days before, he had discovered that someone was living under their house in the cellar and that they must have killed Cline. Finally he admitted that he and Cline had argued and she had threatened him with a knife. When he took the knife from her, she “fell on it and her throat was cut.” Due to the severe nature of the injuries to Cline the medical examiner concluded that they could not have been caused by such a fall. Finally Covey claimed that he had “heard voices” and his attorney requested a mental evaluation to determine his competency to stand trial and his sanity at the time of the offense.   After delays in the trial, the forensic examiners concluded that Covey was competent and not insane. DNA evidence established that Cline’s blood was on Covey’s hands, jeans and jacket. Without a real defense, Covey pled no contest to First Degree Murder. The Judge found him guilty and set a sentencing hearing.

At that hearing, Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Fleenor showed the court photographs of the victim and her injuries. Fleenor described the brutality of the crime and the extreme pain that she would have suffered during the attack. Considering his past history of violence, Fleenor urged the Judge to sentence Covey to Life in Prison. The Judge agreed and imposed a Life Sentence. Covey is currently incarcerated at Keen Mountain Correctional Center in Oakwood, VA.

Southwest Times Covey charged

Southwest Times Covey pleads

Southwest Times Covey sentenced




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