Man who murdered pizza deliveryman gets 35 to 70 years in prison

Posted: October 02, 2013

THE PLAN was to order a pizza, then rob the deliveryman when he arrived at the abandoned house in the Elmwood section of Southwest Philadelphia.

Michael Covington and his three friends did just that on Jan. 3, 2012. They stole the pizza, then Covington stole much more: the life of deliveryman Ronald Anderson Jr., 29.

Covington, 22, who fired three bullets into the victim's back just after 10 p.m. on Massey Street near Elmwood Avenue, pleaded guilty yesterday instead of going to trial.

Common Pleas Judge Lillian Ransom sentenced him to 35 to 70 years in state prison for third-degree murder, robbery and related charges. The sentence was negotiated by Covington's attorney, Michael Medway, and Assistant District Attorney Brian Zarallo.

Covington's three co-defendants had each previously pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and related counts and were prepared to testify against him during a trial.

The defendant's grandmother Rosina Covington, who traveled from California for the hearing, told the court: "My deepest, deepest condolences for all five families involved, but especially for the Anderson family. I deeply appreciate their loss."

Anderson lived in Chester with his wife, Shanna, their daughter and Shanna's three other children.

Shanna and Anderson's parents, Ronald Sr. and Gladys, were among relatives and friends present in court.

Shanna recalled that Anderson was a good husband and father who died trying to provide for his family.

Gladys Anderson told the court that her son's 9-year-old daughter is now in therapy because she misses her father so much.

"The impact on me is, I'll never hear five words again: 'I love you too, mom,' " said Anderson, fighting back tears.

On Twitter: @MensahDean

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