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Gun found on street may be connected to earlier chase

COVINGTON — A city of Covington employee found a gun near the street this week that may be connected to a recent vehicle chase by the Newton County Sheriff’s Office.

On Monday afternoon, a city employee found a stainless steel Beretta 9mm pistol on the grass at the corner of Monticello and Church streets and contacted the Covington Police Department. Sgt. Chris Cain noticed the gun had a partial magazine and the serial number came back as being stolen out of Walton County, according to the CPD incident report.

Cain stated he also contacted the Sheriff’s Office about the weapon because of a recent incident involving a vehicle pursuit that ended at that intersection.

In an incident that occurred between 1 and 4 a.m. Saturday, April 12, a Newton County Sheriff’s Office deputy attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a four-door gold 2007 Saturn in the area of Bypass Road and Ga. Highway 36. Sgt. Michael Cunningham said the driver of the car did not immediately stop and led the deputy on a chase before eventually stopping near the intersection of Monticello and Church streets in Covington.

At the scene of the traffic stop, the driver of the Saturn got out of the car and fled on foot but was not immediately apprehended, although the three other occupants were detained, the Sheriff’s Office reported.

Deputies who searched the car found a Smith & Wesson .38 and an unlabeled pill bottle with pills inside. As a result, Kevonta Jordonique Turk, 18, of 10133 Village Drive; 21-year-old Kevin Bernard Terrell of 340 Crestfield Circle; and Sandino Mendell Aikens, 26, of 9237 Carr Circle, were charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, possession of Schedule III drugs (Lortab), failure to keep drugs in the original container; and possession of Schedule II drugs. Aikens was also charged with possession of arms by a convicted felon.

A similar incident involving Turk and Aikens near the same location occurred just a couple months earlier.

According to the incident report filed by NCSO Deputy Matthew Holbrook, the deputy was patrolling the area of Monticello Street around 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 28 when he saw a gold 2007 Saturn Ion cross the center yellow line. He pulled the car over just before Church Street.

As he approached the car, he reportedly saw Co2 cartridges and whip-it cans in the passenger’s side floorboard. Holbrook stated in the report that he recognized the passenger as being Aikens, who was known to be a member of a local gang, which led the deputy to believe the car’s occupants were “possibly armed and dangerous.”

NCSO Cpl. Jacob Rice had arrived at the scene and told the driver, who was later identified as Kevonta Turk, to step put of the car.

“As he stepped out of the car, I noticed a bulge in his front hoodie pocket. I knew it was a firearm.” Holbrook reported.

The deputy placed Turk against the car and removed the gun from his pocket, but Turk then made movements like he was getting off the car, so Holbrook and Rice pushed him back on the car, the report states.

“As the struggle continued, I heard the male in the back seat say, ‘H—, nah.’ I looked up and noticed Philandus (Turk) in the back seat was starting to get out of the car,” Holbrook stated.

Holbrook then pointed his firearm at Philandus Turk, instructing him to stay in the car until Kevonta Turk was taken into custody by Cpl. Rice. Philandus Turk was then arrested as well.

Kevonta Turk, who provided an address at that time of 2626 Country Trace, Conyers, was charged with various traffic offenses as well as theft by receiving stolen property and obstruction of officers.

Philandus Randez Turk, 23, of 8178 Puckett St., was charged with obstruction of officers.

The gun removed from Kevonta Turk was reported stolen out of Rockdale County, the incident report states.