Deadly dice game leaves one Stark County man dead

Deadly dice game leaves one Stark County man dead
© source: Stark County Sheriff
© source: Stark County Sheriff

STARK COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - A dice game ends with the death of one man and a police hunt for his killer.

At 9:41 a.m. on Tuesday, November 6, police and paramedics responded to call to find Craig D. Avery, 27, lying on the ground.

Capt. Dave Davis, who heads the police department said, "Avery appeared to have suffered gunshot wounds to the chest."  The Stark County Coroner's Office plans to conduct an autopsy.

Avery was pronounced dead at 10:43 a.m. at Mercy Medical Center, said Capt. Dave Davis, who heads the police department's Detective Bureau.

Warrants have been issued for Christopher D. Covington, 24, for Covington's arrest on charges of murder and having weapons under disability.

Dice were recovered at the crime scene and detectives believe both men were playing at the time.

Police are looking for any witness that may have been present during the shooting.

Neighbors say the corner of Spring Avenue and Sandal Place NE is a popular gathering spot for friends and family in the neighborhood.

Judith O'Neal was in the middle of doing laundry when she heard "pow-pow-pow" ring through the walls of her home, which is located next door to the crime scene.

Her daughter, Lisa O'Neal, called for help.

One of Avery's relatives, Robert Whitlow recalls, "I heard shooting and then everybody went to running and he was laying on the ground."  Whitlow says that before the shooting Avery was on his way to another relative's home that lives nearby.

Avery's death is the eighth homicide in the city so far this year.

Covington went to prison in November 2011 and 2008 for cocaine and marijuana possession, in 2008 for felony escape and in 2010 for felony theft and cocaine possession, Stark County court records show.

Court records list the current charges against him as having a bond of $1 million.

Davis asked that anyone with information about the shooting or anyone who was present to call detectives at 330-489-3144.

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