DA finds no crimes in shooting of Santa Maria officer

March 13, 2013
Albert Covarrubias

Albert Covarrubias

Following the disciplining of nine Santa Maria police officers for their roles in the shooting death of officer Alberto Covarrubias, Jr., Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley announced Tuesday that her office found no evidence of criminal action by members of the Santa Maria Police Department involved in the shooting death of one of its own officers. [Santa Maria Times]

Last week, Santa Maria Police Chief Ralph Martin fired two top managers and reprimanded seven officers in connection with the shooting of Covarrubias by his best friend and fellow officer Matt Kline.

Dudley initially cleared Kline and other officers involved in the shooting of the 29-year-old Covarrubias of any criminal wrongdoing in June 2012 when she released an 18-page investigation report on the incident.

Tuesday, Dudley expressed “gratitude” to Martin for his “diligence, cooperation and unrelenting professionalism,” but the district attorney announced no plans to file charges.

“Based upon our independent review, we find there is no evidence of underlying criminal violations by any Santa Maria Police Department personnel with respect to this matter,” Dudley said in a statement.

Martin disciplined the seven Santa Maria police officers and fired the two managers on March 7 after completing an internal affairs investigation into the shooting. Martin’s investigation included 1700 pages of reports and more than 100 recorded interviews.

Kline shot and killed Covarrubias on Jan. 28, 2012, after Santa Maria police officers attempted to arrest Covarrubias at a DUI checkpoint for sexual misconduct with a 17-year-old police Explorer Scout and intimidation of a witness. Covarrubias subsequently fired shots at two Santa Maria police supervisors, prompting Kline to fatally shoot his best friend.




  1. r0y says:

    I wish there would be an investigative report in just how low the bar has been set for Law Enforcement. I mean, they are paid quite handsomely and have such a small risk compared to more “urban areas” like Stockton, L.A., Detroit, etc.

    I remember when I lived in D.C. they had to keep lowering testing standards and minimum scores to integrate more cops recruited from the city; prior to this, they all were “imported” from other areas, and the DC residents (or some politician) wanted the DCPD to be *from* DC… it did not work out well.

    (-1) 5 Total Votes - 2 up - 3 down
  2. Zuma7 says:

    Santa Maria and Oxnard, Ca. have alot in common.

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  3. Cindy says:

    The family of this deceased criminal have been pounding the pavement in SM demanding justice for the death of Albert who never should have been in LE to begin with. It’s no wonder he was unable to accept responsibility for his actions and took it all the way to firing his weapon while resisting arrest. He obviously never learned what personal responsibility is as demonstrated by his father who dismisses his son’s actions and demands that blame be placed on everyone else except the perp.

    Maybe the family of Mr Cova’s first daughter-in-law who committed suicide after Albert dumped her for someone else should be screaming about how Albert killed their daughter and how Albert then went on to have an affair with an underage girl while he married someone else! If Albert had something to be embarrassed about, he should have been embarrassed about that rather than being arrested. Mr Caro had better hope that I’m not on the jury for his civil suit against the SMPD.

    (24) 32 Total Votes - 28 up - 4 down
    • r0y says:

      This is how low information people are coddled their whole lives, generation after generation: blame someone else, you’re a victim!

      (9) 9 Total Votes - 9 up - 0 down

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