Jonathan Covault: Lawyer was to marry this summer

The Detroit Free Press, June 27, 2000

by L. L. Braiser

Friday afternoon, as Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca was leaving his office, he saw one of his young assistant prosecutors, Jonathan Covault, kissing his fiancee, Cynthia Brown, a courthouse worker.

Mr. Covault was headed to Grayling for his bachelor party that evening with fellow prosecutors and friends and was saying a quick good-bye to Brown.

"I thought how nice they were together, that there was love there, and what a wonderful future they had together," Gorcyca said Monday.

That future ended the next morning when friends found Mr. Covault, 32, dead in his bed at the resort. An autopsy was being conducted Monday.

Mr. Covault reportedly suffered from sleep apnea and sometimes used a device to monitor sleep problems. He was not using the device when he went to bed about 11 p.m. Friday.

Friends reported hearing him stir in bed about 7 a.m. Saturday, but when the alarm went off at 8 for a round of golf, they could not wake him.

"It's just unexplainable," Gorcyca said. "There were two doctors next door, but when they got there, it was too late. They saw no outward signs of a problem. Alcohol was not a problem. At this point, we just don't know.

"Everyone is taking this pretty hard. He was treasured here and had a great future here."

Oakland County Assistant Prosecutor Paul Stablein said, "He was one of the hardest-working and smartest prosecutors. This has been really devastating to everyone in our office."

Mr. Covault started at the prosecutor's office in 1995 and had worked his way up to the circuit court division, where he tried cases before Judge Wendy Potts. He was the son of Ronald Covault, a veteran prosecutor who in recent years has led the litigation division of the prosecutor's office.

Mr. Covault is also survived by his mother, Eleanor Covault, and two brothers. He and his fiancee had just purchased a home in Royal Oak and planned to marry Aug. 26.

Visitation will be today 5-8 p.m. at the Schrader and Howell Funeral Home in Plymouth. A mass will be Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Shrine of the Little Flower Catholic Church in Royal Oak. Burial plans were pending Monday.