Cheri Tate if she could have one magic genie wish, she would go back to a moment in her life where she had a knife in her hand and was contemplating killing her ex-husband, murderer Edward Allen Covington. She believes that some people become evil, but that Edward was “born evil from the egg.”
The Investigation Discovery series Evil Lives Here “He Was Born Evil” (Season 10, Episode 10) Cheri tells the story of her marriage to a man she considers to be pure evil.
On May 12, 2008, 26-year-old Lisa Freiberg and her two children (7-year-old Zachary and 2-year-old Heather Savannah) were found after they were gruesomely murdered by her boyfriend Edward Allen Covington. He was found hiding in a bedroom closet. At first, Edward blamed a cocktail of pills for giving him amnesia before the murder but later admitted to the slayings. Before this terrible murder took place, he had spent years tormenting his wife Cheri Tate with both physical and psychological abuse.
How Cheri and Edward met
Cheri and Edward met at a bar where she was bartending in 1993. She felt a “strong connection” with him, but she was dating someone at the time so she didn’t pursue the attraction.
Seven years later, however, he walked into her bar again and she was overwhelmed with butterflies. She jumped into his arms, and they picked up where they’d left off with their friendship. At the time, Cheri thought Eddie walking back into her life was a sign from God. Her friend, however, sensed that there was something “not right” with Eddie, and her intuition came to be spot on. She suggested that maybe Cheri shouldn’t move in with Eddie.
Cheri didn’t listen to her friend’s warning, however. She saw that he came from a good family, and had a good job as a corrections officer at the prison. On top of it all, he made her feel very special. She didn’t listen to her friend because she thought she was jealous of what she had with Eddie. Now she often reflects back on that conversation and wishes she had listened to her.
Eddie pressured Cheri into marriage
Cheri had had a felony drug charge before she got together with Eddie, and she was awaiting conviction. Eddie told her that they had to get married if they were going to continue their relationship because of his job as a corrections officer.
Although Cheri felt an intense connection with Eddie, she didn’t want to get married right away. They had not been together very long and it felt rushed to her. He told her that if she really loved him, she would marry him.
She decided to marry him at the county courthouse, but she felt sick on the day of their wedding. Her body seemed to be telling her to not go through with the wedding. She hesitated during the ceremony and almost walked away. He convinced her to stay and get married. She thought maybe she had been overthinking things, but now she sees what she experienced that day as a “gut feeling” that could have protected her. She now sees her wedding day as the “beginning of the end” for her.
He threatened his sister’s life
One night Cheri and Eddie were watching a Russian roulette scene on TV. This prompted Eddie to share that he had once held a gun up to his sister’s head when he was a teenager. He said he had thrown her up against the wall, held a gun to her head, and threatened her life.
Cheri didn’t believe it was true until she heard his sister confirmed that it happened.
The police didn’t believe Cheri
Cheri doesn’t remember any violence from Eddie in the beginning, but one day he snapped on her. He hit her in the jaw and punched her in the eye. She remembers his eyes turning black, and his demeanor changing in “half of a second.”
Cheri told him she would call the cops, but he laughed at her. He told her the cops wouldn’t believe her because of his connections with them. His dad used to work for the police office, and they didn’t believe her when she called them. Eddie flashed his father’s badge and claimed that she had cut the back of his head even though he was not injured.
Even though Cheri had visible fresh wounds, they didn’t believe her. Cheri was also a felon, which was another reason the cops didn’t believe her. She was arrested for assaulting a corrections officer.
She says these false domestic violence arrests happened several times.
Even Cheri’s mother didn’t believe her
One time she was on the phone with her mom and icing an injury. She was planning to go stay with her mom. Eddie took the phone and convinced her that Cheri had hurt herself. She could hear her mother on the other end of the line agreeing with him. At this point, Cheri realized that she didn’t have anyone in the world on her side and Eddie could get away with anything if he had the cops and her own mom on his side.
One night Eddie convinced Cheri to let him take home a guy for them to have sex with. He told her she would let him do this if she loved him. He threatened to beat her if she didn’t agree. Cheri says he enjoyed watching her suffer.
She went to the bar and chugged tequila so she could get sick. She was so sick they didn’t go through with bringing someone home, but she did get beat again.
One day he beat her again and then called the cops on Cheri. She fled to go hide at a friend’s house. He found out where she was and pulled out front to watch the house. He constantly called her. Cheri didn’t want anything to happen to her friend, so left out of her back door and hopped the fence.
Cheri went home, but Eddie stayed outside her friend’s house for two days. He had no idea how Cheri had escaped the house without her knowing.
Devastating consequences when Cheri finally tried to leave
One day Cheri packed her things and had some friends help her leave. She told him she’d be back to get the cats. Still, she knew something was going to happen that night.
Two hours after she started her shift that night she got a call from the Sheriff’s office to let her know that Eddie was in the ICU and they had to break down the door to get inside their house. He had called them saying he’d drank a bottle of alcohol and some pills.
The police let her know that her cats had been dismembered. The cops didn’t make a report about the cats.
After that Cheri moved in with her mother. On her birthday, she found an orchid by her bed when she woke up. When she thanked her mom for it, her mom said the flower wasn’t from her.
That’s when Cheri knew that Eddie had come into their house. The orchid was a symbol of his continuing control over her.
Cheri had a protective order against Eddie, but that didn’t stop him from continuing to come into her mother’s house at night. One night she awoke to her mother screaming and found Eddie standing an arm’s length away from her bed.
He claimed that he was just checking on her because she wouldn’t answer his calls. He said he wanted her to know that he always knew where she was. He said he loved her and wanted to make her marriage work. He also complained about a new woman and her kids who had moved in with him: Lisa Freiberg.
This was the first Cheri had heard Lisa’s name. He said he wanted to “get rid” of Lisa and her kids. Cheri’s mom said she was going to call the cops and Cheri saw a smile spread on Eddie’s face that looked “evil” to her. When the cops came back they told Cheri and her mom that they couldn’t do anything because he wasn’t there.
One day Cheri had a male friend drop her off at her mom’s house. Eddie was watching and pulled a gun on Cheri and her mom. He then called the cops and told them that Cheri was abusing him. He slammed his face into the door jam to hurt himself so the police would believe him.
When the cops arrive, they ask him if he’s pulled a gun on them. He showed the cops his corrections officer badge and told them he didn’t know why she did this to him. Cheri put in the back of a police car, and Eddie went free. “The rules ever applied to him,” Cheri says.
Her mom begs the police officers to let her go, and they eventually did. For the next few months, Cheri was terrified of Eddie. He would call her dozens of times a day. He would ask her if they could be friends, he told her he’d changed, and that he loved her.
She would change her number, but Eddie would still find her new ones, and her skin would crawl when she saw him calling.
May 11, 2008
Cheri had lived in fear of her own life for all of 2008, but she didn’t expect Eddie to kill someone else. One day at work police came to question Cheri because they had found three bodies at Eddie’s house. They were dismembred just like Cheri’s cats. Eddie had murdered his girlfriend Lisa and her two children.
Cheri immediately remembered the time Eddie told her that he had wanted to “get rid” of Lisa and her kids. Police found Eddie in a closet wearing nothing but his boxer shorts. He was muttering that he had finally “killed Cheri,” which led Cheri to believe that he had meant to kill her. In fact, Cheri wishes it had been her instead of them. She carries a lot of guilt because she didn’t warn Lisa about how dangerous Eddie was.
Eddie was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of abusing a dead body. He was given three death sentences. Cheri believes that he deserves life without parole, not death. Still, if he is executed, Cheri wants to attend so he can see how strong she is and that she’s not scared of him anymore.
On July 4, 2008, Cheri’s mother apologized to her daughter for not believing how bad Eddie had been treating her. The next day, Cheri’s mom passed away. Cheri forgives her and she wishes she could tell her that she forgave her.
Cheri feels like Eddie destroyed her life. She can’t get close to people because of what she went through. Still, she tries her best to live a happy life.