Santa Maria police officer accused of sex with teen

January 28, 2012

The Santa Maria police officer who was shot and killed earlier today allegedly had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl, Chief Dan Macagni said.

Police discovered the 29-year-old suspect knew he was going to be arrested for sexual misconduct with a child and intimidation of a witness. At about 1 a.m. today, department officials decided to serve an arrest warrant while the suspect officer was on duty at a DUI checkpoint.

The suspect officer struggled with arresting officers, drew his weapon and fired. He was shot once by a fellow officer and died later at Marian Medical Center from his injuries.

“(He) knew we knew, he was going to be arrested,” Macagni said.

A four-year-veteran of the department, the deceased officer left behind a wife. Officials said they will not release his identity until more members of his family are notified.

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A couple of new things on the SMPD police shooting…

The copy who shot Covarrubias was actually the best man at (Covarrubias’) wedding in Las Vega 3 weeks earlier.

Covarrubias’ cousin was one of the sergeants who came to fetch Covarrubias at the DUI checkpoint.

The 17 yo girl is a Police Explorer and was there, at the DUI chickpoint, as an Explorer, with Covarrubias. A lieutenant at the checkpoint told everyone there, including Covarrubias, that the girl would be removed from the checkpoint that evening because she was part of an investigation.

As soon as she left, he started texting her like crazy.

The growing consensus of experts’ opinion is that it was suicide by cop (see Covarrubias’ quote, below).

…………“Events unfolded very rapidly,” Santa Maria Police Chief Danny Macagni said at a press conference Saturday. “It was very clear to the investigators that he knew what was going to happen.”

Rebecca Stincelli, who has researched police shootings for 26 years, told ABC News, “It is suicide by cop, even if it was a split second decision to die.”…

“It’s a panicked, knee jerk reaction,” Stincelli said. “His career was over. If they’re not a cop, then who are they? This is someone who has had authority [and] power and suddenly they’re without it. It is suicide by cop.”…

The Santa Maria Times reported that a lieutenant at the checkpoint told all of the officers, including Covarrubias, that the teenage girl who was on duty at the check point would be removed that night because she was part of an investgation.

When an adult came to pick up the girl, Covarrubias reportedly panicked and began sending her text messages.

“He started texting stuff like ‘I’m not going to jail’ and ‘I’d rather kill myself’ and that type of stuff,” a retired officer familiar with the case told the newspaper on the condition of anonymity….


Also, in an “AP exclusive”:

………..“Sometime around 1 a.m., two sergeants — one of them the officer’s cousin — arrived to take Covarrubias into custody.

Covarrubias backed up and, according to police, tried to draw his gun as the sergeants wrestled him to the ground. Police at the scene told the retired officers that Covarrubias fired four times, but not at anything or anyone.

Then, he pointed his pistol at his best man, Officer Matt Kline, the retired officers said. Kline fired his weapon, fatally wounding his friend.

The department denied Covarrubias a police funeral, said his father, who then opted not to bury his son in the uniform he loved.

“What happened to the brotherhood?” the father asked. “This is all stewing inside of me. I should have my son here, not be planning his funeral.””


The father is unbelievable. “What happened to brotherhood”? His son aimed his weapon at another officer, after already having fired four rounds elsewhere. I know every parent thinks their kid is special, but does he really expect another officer to do nothing when an erratically-behaving officer is firing a weapon and suddenly aims the gun at him?

When Covarrubias aimed his weapon at a fellow officer, IMO, he lost the right for a funeral with honors.

He used his “best friend” to do the suicide-by-cop act.

I don’t get the support for Covarrubias. I just don’t.

I find it troubling that TedSlanders continually, in various forums, on various threads and topics, including his comments below, cites excerpts from the Bible as justification for killing people. Where will this obsession with ‘justifiable” supposedly Bible-sanctioned vengeance killing lead to? No place healthy, that’s for sure. We should be concerned.


What I find troubling is that you’re disparaging the Christian/Hebrew bible God because He commands Christians to kill certain factions of His creation! Even the New Testament is full of these killing commands! Where do YOU get the authority to usurp God’s word in this respect?

You said where will this Bible-sanctioned vengeance killing lead to? Haven’t you heard of the Spanish Inquistion, the Crusades, Salem Witch Trials, just to name a few? Read the bible, there’re many more examples!

To assume that this killing is “supposedly” bible sanctioned is blaspheme because the liteal passages of killing say what they do without any needed interpretation or decoder ring! Our God killed His creation on His own as well on many occasions, just read the Old Testament writings.

Listen, don’t be concerned with me, but be concerned with the TRUE word of the Christian God. I am only the messenger of His word. Do you deny me what Jesus commanded of me, and that I use here at CCN? “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. (Mark 16: 15-16) Within the Gospels, Jesus speaks of following the Old Testament!

As in TRUE journalism, as Karen Velie, et al, follow, they don’t leave out any information to their stories even if it is upsetting to many of their readers. Within the same vein of TRUE Christianity, I don’t leave out the God’s words, edicts, and commands, even if it is upsetting to many Christians!

If Christians cannot take this true abbhorid and disgusting information within the bible in it’s historical literal context, then they need to leave Christianity altogether. Subsequently, if they still need a belief system for their comfort, even though we’re in the 21st Century, then they can take up Buddhism, Deism, or some other type of belief where there are no Gods commanding them to kill others in His name! Get it?

Don’t blame me, blame the different God’s in question! It’s just that simple.

TedSlanders, you’re obsessed and literally don’t know what you are talking about. You’ve gone off the deep end. The hatred and violence you harbor and spew will lead to NOTHING good. Your ego has gone out of control and you have become a slave to its very worst, most destructive nature.

You can continue to play in your illusion of superiority and wisdom but the spirit behind it is twisted and perverse in all its sarcasm and mental masturbation.

What you hate about others is what you hate in yourself. Your words, no matter how many you post, will never save you nor will they save anyone else. You’ve got a serious personal problem and the sooner you admit that to yourself, the sooner you will find the peace that you so badly need.

May God give you the grace to appreciate your failings and provide the wisdom and will to take a new, more healthy, more life affirming and peaceful path.


Regarding the poor officer that drew his gun upon his best friend, to wit; “Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” (Romans 13:2)

Whoops! I see that I presented too much biblical logic and reason again in my refutation to your ever so wanting leading post. Sorry. Therefore, as usual, you have to run away from it and bring forth your red herrings again to hide! You’re funny!

I don’t know what I am talking about? When you proffer this statement, then you’re saying that our God doesn’t know what He is talking about because i bring actual godly passages to bear! LOL Wow, that’s gutsy of you! One can only wonder what our God is thinking about you right about now!

I don’t harbor any hatred or violence that the bible doesn’t teach me in it’s wisdom as I’ve presented to the pseudo-christian faction like you!

I am taking the bible’s path and wisdom and if you can’t handle what it says in it’s TOTALITY, then I suggest that you get a new religion post haste! In this way, you’ll quit embarrassing yourself again within this forum.

Have you ever thought about taking a logic 101 class at Cuesta College? It would bode you well to do so. Therefore, if you can digest the impetus of the class, you wouldn’t make such convoluted word salad statements like you just did! Try it, we will be forever grateful when you pass this class!

Thanking you in advance.


Whoops, the above post is addressed to Wiseguy instead of willie! Now that I’ve had my second cup of coffee, I see my mistake!

Dear Mr. Sanders

If you can truely forgive me for having been so rude and ulgy towards you in the past, then you are one heck of a real Christian

If you can really forgive me if I disagree in the future OR “didn’t understand or misunderstand” then you are a real scholar

I read an interesting article today, LATimes, about Pete O’Neal, a Black Panther, who fled the country and lives in Tanzania now. He is 71 years old.

It is a remarkable article.

Anyway, here is his quote:

“I’ve never had the courage to turn the other cheek.”

Many christian fundamentalists, especially those of the more christian-reconstructionist bent, post this kind of biblical justification for violence and death. He is not alone.


Isn’t it truly sad, that in the 21st Century, our God’s word is followed in the manner that you’ve shown? But, then again, the killing passages are as much of God’s word as the fluffy and ever so pretty ones, aren’t they?

There is nothing worse than a Burger King Christian, where they want their bible “their way!” No, it’s God’s way, or leave Christianity altogether! You can’t have your cake and eat it too!

But the killing passages are in the Old Testament, not the New Testament. The New Testament is Jesus’ work. The Old Testament chronicles the the Hebrew history and religious development.


Huh? I can’t believe in what you just stated!!!! Barring the fact that this post may be deleted for obvious reasons, there is KILLING PASSAGES in the New Testament as well. Shame on you for making such an ungodly statement.

Our “Christian” God loves little children in a “tough love” stance by having them killed and thrashed to pieces by bears for calling Elisha a “baldy!” Praise God’s revenge! (2 Kings 2:23-25)

Jesus stated: “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.” ( Luke 19:27 ) Parable or not, the killing nature is attributed to Jesus!

Jesus replied, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God? For instance, God says, ‘Honor your father and mother, and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.” (Matthew 15:3-4 -New Living Translation) By proxy, Jesus has to condone the killing of these unruly kids!

“O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us. he who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.” ( Psalms 137:8-9) This is our “tough love” stance of our Christian God in retaliation, praise!

One of my favorite passages is when our God had one man eaten alive by a swarm of worms because the man failed to give God His due! LOL (Acts 12:23). How about when God scared a husband and wife to death for not giving Him all the money they made on a real estate transaction? (Acts 5:1-10).

Mary, there’re too many other NEW TESTAMENT killing passages ordered, or done by our Christian God and/or condoned by Jesus. So, next time, be “bible smart” and NEVER say that there is no killing passages in the NT, okay?

You can thank me later for your New Testament enlightenment!

Got to get back to my ministries …..

I am as dumbfounded as some of you here (Not on what actually happened but some underlying factors attributing to it), there isn’t enough info disclosed for me to hang my hat on (closure).

I sure would like to know more about the 17 year, who actually alledged the charges (a warrant was issued! By who? The wife, supervisor or minor?) not that it is necessary but it would be nice to know a little more.

She is a minor. That’s all you need to know.

In no way, shape or form is it her fault…morally, ethically, or legally.

In fact, I don’t like the term “sexual relationship” used in the article, not unless you consider “rape” a “sexual relationship.”

The 17-year-old is not of the age of consent. The officer who assaulted her (and that is what it must be seen as, like it or not) knew that, yet he did it anyway.

She is the victim here.

“One person was arrested for suspicion of drunken driving during a DUI and driver’s license checkpoint at the shooting”

Every person that had negative contact, arrested, DUI, or anything to do with the officer that was suspected of several felonies and had to be shot and killed while resisting arrest should contact their attorney and petition the court for immediate dismissal of their case going back to hire date. Every arrest this officer did is now not beyond reproach…

It is my understanding that this was reported on Thursday and because of the threat to the witness, they decided to serve him immediately while on duty. There was no time for “administrative leave”. I’m appalled at the comment “woman/child”, this TEENAGER is 17 and he was 29, married and an officer of the law.

Wow some of these comments are real dribble!!

As a LEO from the central valley, long time property owner in the central coast, I have been following the blogs since the press release. In my over 35 years experience, let make the following opinion based on gut instinct. Citizens investigating a officer involved shooting, what a joke. Talk about unable get out of a wet paper bag. If there is so much distrust, then use the available source which would be a grand jury investigation.

Much comment about the circumstances of the decision to arrest. Well it appears that it would have been much more prudent than at the check point but hindsight is always 20-20. It appears to me that this case revolves around not only the unlawful sexual matter with a minor but gut instinct the use of cell phone in messaging and transmission of images. If any of the images are of the privates of ones self sent to a minor, thats child pornography folks. Thats why I believe this whole thing was notched up to cause the officer to be very desperate. I cannot believe the puke put forth by some and politicans today that we can solve theses unfortunate incidents by changing the laws to some how water down the circumstances and avoid this end result!!

With over five years investigating sex crimes, todays society sends these self made pict’s to each other all the time. Sent to a minor is big stuff, as a cop you would get the big state time or even fed time which I believe is up to ten years. So he knew very well the big time trouble he was in!!

As far as the truthfulness issues for law enforcement today, I sadly agree that we have been our own worst enemy. Its been to the point for about the last eight or ten years that I use a digital recorder nearly in all interviews or events of major signifience. It take a great deal of discipline and maturity not possesed by most leo’s to do this but in the end its play the tape and let your own words explain each incident.

In conclusion, I believe that there may of been some contact, texting or email that this officer was about to respond to the victim’s residence or some other location to do something, runaway or threats. Pretty big event that would cause two supervisors to respond to a street corner to arrest the officer.

For all those conspiracy wacko’s, I believe with numerous officers present and the shooter officer one of the co workers of the deceased along with the physical evidence that is always at a OIS shooting scene and hopefully an audio recording of the incident, the truth will be so plainfully event to all who is interested.

I think you make sense. If the PD had waited for the officer to return to the station, and instead he committed a crime against the girl or her family, we’d have thrown a fit over why did the police wait so long. If only tomorrow’s newspaper………..

This is the problem with having a chief like Macagni. He is racist, a bigot and inept. He is not fit to lead the SMPD officers who have to face difficult issues in their line of work.

Anyone who calls a black person a “n-bomb,” Michael Jackson a “monkey,” or uses an array of negative epithets for Latinos, is unfit to be police chief in Santa Maria.

I believe it is illegal in California to record someone’s voice without their permission. In fact, there are 12 states that prohibit recording someone without their consent:

California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

Unless you are the law. They are law unto themselves these days.

Whoa, there danika. Your statement is misleading regarding the legality of taping a conversation. There is a big difference between recording a telephone conversation versus recording a conversation not on the telephone. In many situations, other than a telephone conversation, it is perfectly legal for one person to secretly record a conversation in which they are a part of, even in those twelve states. The legality depends upon the specific situation. There are plenty of common situations where it is totally LEGAL to record someone without their consent.


California Recording Law

Note: This page covers information specific to California. For general information concerning the use of recording devices see the Recording Phone Calls, Conversations, Meetings and Hearings section of this guide.

California Wiretapping Law

California’s wiretapping law is a “two-party consent” law. California makes it a crime to record or eavesdrop on any confidential communication, including a private conversation or telephone call, without the consent of all parties to the conversation. See Cal. Penal Code § 632. The statute applies to “confidential communications” — i.e., conversations in which one of the parties has an objectively reasonable expectation that no one is listening in or overhearing the conversation. See Flanagan v. Flanagan, 41 P.3d 575, 576-77, 578-82 (Cal. 2002). A California appellate court has ruled that this statute applies to the use of hidden video cameras to record conversations as well. See California v. Gibbons, 215 Cal. App. 3d 1204 (Cal Ct. App. 1989).

If you are recording someone without their knowledge in a public or semi-public place like a street or restaurant, the person whom you’re recording may or may not have “an objectively reasonable expectation that no one is listening in or overhearing the conversation,” and the reasonableness of the expectation would depend on the particular factual circumstances. Therefore, you cannot necessarily assume that you are in the clear simply because you are in a public place.

If you are operating in California, you should always get the consent of all parties before recording any conversation that common sense tells you might be “private” or “confidential.” In addition to subjecting you to criminal prosecution, violating the California wiretapping law can expose you to a civil lawsuit for damages by an injured party. See Cal. Penal Code § 637.2.

Consult The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press’s Can We Tape?: California for more information on California wiretapping law. …….



Willie, you literally don’t know what you are talking about. There is a gray area in the law. If the recording is done in a public place and the person being secretly recorded can’t expect complete privacy, it is LEGAL to record.

The legal advice presented above by MaryMalone is aimed at protecting journalists from lawsuits, so it stresses a VERY conservative approach toward recording.

Think about all those “hidden camera” news reports and investigations we see on television. Those being recorded don’t know it. Happens all the time.

Willie, I don’t appreciate your foul language and childish insults and I’m sure most people who read this forum feel the same way as I do. Your rude comments degrade you and this forum. I think you can do better.


opps, sorry

I am the dumb dipshit

I know what your saying now, sorry

connected one

You don’t know if he was separated

You don’t know if she was emancipated from another place

You don’t know if the deceased officer knew whether she was of age or not and when he knew

You don’t know NOR do I

We don’t know

All we do know is the deceased officer is not thinking straight and must have issues.

We also don’t know if either he or she had green hair. Do we suspend opining until we can ascertain that?

I think it is assumed on a public message board that provides discussion boards with their news articles that opinions expressed by the participants are based on what is publicly known.

connected one

“I’m appalled at the comment “woman/child””

Can you tell me what your personal, colloquial, and standard definitions are, and if your are using a statutory differentiation, which Code is your reference!

I don’t have any more information than what is in this article. But it certainly seems like it was handled poorly. More than that, however, it just seems FISHY, as usual. We REALLY need to start having investigations carried out by citizen groups. It seems like 90% of the time, there are some really nagging questions about why something was handled a certain way.

Why would an officer be dumb enough to draw his weapon on other cops, unless he feared for his life for some reason?

Perhaps it wasn’t a fear for his life, like an immediate “Look out, he’s going to shoot me”, but more of a “Oh my God, they’ve found out about my horrible crime, my life as I have known it is over and I don’t want to go to jail” ?

It might have been suicide by cop. I’ve never thought of a cop doing a suicide by cop before, but I suppose it happens.

This officer who decide to do what he did and pull the gun, made his decision, he is responsible and no one else.

Let’s look at the REAL victums here. First the young girl. Second the wife finding out her husband cheated. Now on top of that to have to deal with what her husband did at the end. How about his kids? Last how about the fellow officer having to be put into a position to shot a fellow officer I’m sure he has shared a laugh with? This my friends are the REAL victums. Not the officer who made his dreadful decison that has now screw up many lifes.