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After convicted murderer allowed to change name, prosecutors fight to change it back

By Hannah Cotter

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    MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (WMUR) — A man convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend in Somersworth in 1999 changed his name while in prison, but prosecutors are now fighting to compel him to change it back.

James Covington said a name change would give him a fresh start, but the state said the change could prevent people from finding accurate information about him. Advertisement

Covington pleaded guilty in 2000 to the murder of Debra Duncan in 1999. Prosecutors said he strangled her, stuffed her body in his closet and dumped her in a Massachusetts cemetery the next day.

Covington has served more than 20 years in jail and will be eligible for parole in 2028.

According to court documents, he filed a petition in Lancaster to change his name last year, writing, “As I have worked hard in my quest to correct my wrongdoings as James Covington, I want a fresh start as Jamauri Covington.”

Documents also show the circuit court approved the change “as the Department of Corrections has been duly served and has failed to file an objection.”

New Hampshire officials filed a lawsuit last month to undo the change.

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