A man accused of critically wounding his husband in a shooting last week at their home on Santa Fe’s southeast side has been released from jail on GPS and alcohol monitoring.
The First Judicial District Attorney’s Office decided not to file a motion requesting that Gene Covington, 71, be jailed without bond until his trial.
“Mr. Covington is not a flight risk and has no criminal history, so we are waiting for our day in court,” said Covington’s public defender, Marcus Lucero.
Covington is facing charges of attempted murder and tampering with evidence in the Wednesday incident, according to a criminal complaint sheriff’s deputies filed Thursday in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court. He told investigators he had intended to fire the gun just past his husband, Patrick Murphy, but struck the man in error.
Covington was released from the Santa Fe County jail Friday evening on a $5,000 unsecured appearance bond. He also was ordered to find another place to live until his trial, to wear a GPS monitoring device and to monitor his alcohol usage.
According to the criminal complaint, Covington called 911 just after 7 p.m. Wednesday and told dispatchers he had shot Murphy during a dispute after the couple had been drinking.
Covington told investigators his husband had scared him and that “alcohol leads to bad decisions,” the complaint said.
Attempts to reach Covington and Murphy by phone Monday were unsuccessful.
Murphy’s current medical status is unknown.
According to the criminal complaint, emergency responders took Murphy to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, where he underwent surgery and remained in critical condition.
Juan Ríos, a spokesman for the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, said he didn’t know if Murphy’s medical status had changed but said the case is still being investigated as an attempted murder.
Christus St. Vincent spokesman Arturo Delgado did not return a phone call Monday inquiring about Murphy’s status and whether he was still hospitalized there.
During Covington’s first appearance in court Friday, Assistant District Attorney Richard Wilson said prosecutors did not have enough evidence to prove he posed a risk to the public and decided not to pursue pretrial detention.
District Attorney’s Office spokesman Henry Varela did not respond to multiple emails seeking comment on the decision.
Covington is scheduled to appear in Magistrate Court on July 22.