Monday, June 25, 2012

How did 4 Shots fired by Santa Maria Police Officer Covarrubias turn into One? How did One Front Kill shot to the Chest turn into Three Shots from the Back?

I want to apologize to you all for the length of this posting but I feel the subject matter warrants my extra effort and some additional time from you. (Thank You)
 Here I am spending another week and countless hours trying to formulate my thoughts in such a way that my concerns become your concerns. Tonight I want to start this posting by thanking all of you who encourage me and my efforts. I must admit to being a little worried that my recent review of District Attorney Dudley’s report dealing with the shooting death of an Officer by another Officer was not going to be very well received.
Larry “The first thing I need to compliment you on is that your writing is getting better, I am impressed. How you present things is how you will be judged so congrats on this, looks sharp. Now to the substance; Wow you caught the DA with her fly down. That is good. Where have you posted this information? I think to a certain extent, this should be in at least the News Press and the Indy. A copy should be on your blog and one should go to the Grand Jury”. 

Larry “You do amazing work; you are a gifted and natural born reporter and a true asset to Santa Barbara. Don't give up searching for the truth.”

Larry, “God, you are getting really good!  I really like the documentation – you would have made a truly great investigator”.

This posting has been flagged for removal. [?]

santa barbaracraigslist > personals > rants & raves D.A. Dudley's report on shooting death of Officer Covarubias (Santa Maria)
 (From me)I posted it on the Santa Barbara's Craigslist but someone flagged it.
 Nice!!!! ,First off, if someone flagged it, that means they are shitting their pants. The problem with lying all the time, especially to the public at large, you will get caught on small, but oh so important facts. Second, I hope that xx does not just love it. You need to have your finds repeated. You cannot be alone in showing this stuff off. Keep it up, you are doing great.

 Well based on these replies and comments lets just say people have more issues with the D.A.’s report and how it portrays what happen, than they do with me and what I shared. Now before I go on my prayers and apologies go out to the victims loved ones, I do not take their terrible tragedies lightly.

 For five days in a row I have started a new posting and stopped not quite happy that my message was getting through in my writing. One unfinished posting was about Public Trust, another concerned Fraud or Deception by Law Enforcement. Yet another still was a simple fact by fact review of the D.A.’s just released18 page document. All the while I still had my other four week old uncompleted unpublished posting dealing with a remark Superior Court Judge Brian Hill made during the final sentencing of Corey Lyons.
 We have a very serious problem when Santa Barbara County Law Enforcement including the District Attorney her prosecutors and Judges, intentionally attempt to misrepresent facts or out right lie to the public in Any Matters. Those types of actions by them automatically as it should forfeits their right to the Public's Trust. I feel that the keeping of Public Trust requires a higher standard from those previously mentioned than that of you or me. This standard dictates that because integrity is indispensable to those positions, any one whose misconduct undermines that integrity no longer deserves the public’s trust.

 How do originally released facts that four shots were fired by Officer Covarrubias turn into one? And how does the original statement that there was only one kill shot to the front chest from Officer Kline. Later turn into three shots, one to the upper back and two to the back of the neck. All the while another officer was positioned on top of Officer Covarrubias; I just don’t know how the facts could have been so misrepresented initially. Because from the first time I read D.A. Dudley’s report I wondered why a taser was not the correct amount of force needed to protect everyone that evening. I will be the first to admit that based on the initial representation of the facts by the police and reported through the media the use of deadly force was hard to challenge, not anymore!

 District Attorney Dudley clearly states what her agenda was in the shooting report summary found on page one which stated;” The District Attorneys role in reviewing this homicide is to determine whether the shooting of Officer Covarrubias was lawful and to provide a detailed explanation to the public about the facts and law in that regard. This process “requires careful attention to the facts and circumstances.” Hence, this analysis will give careful attention to both the facts and the circumstances of the fatal shooting of Officer Covarrubias”.

 Maybe District Attorney Dudley should hire me as an independent contractor so that I may review and correct her reports in advance. I say this because after making the public wait on her for three months. One would have hoped that her report would have answered more questions than it created. To me the reports agenda is clear; to camouflaging a concerted effort and conceal questionable possibly illegal and at the very least unethical acts by those whose names appear in it from the public. She used the word facts three separate times in her summary and the first issue that pops out is the amount of rounds fired by the two officers involved.

 As I mentioned in my last email I really have made a conscious effort to reduce my investigations, because there is just too much corruption here to write about. I could start with the D.U.I. arrest of Peter Lance, and the questionable actions of arresting Officer Beutel. Or what about the controversial arrest of Tony Denunzio. Who witnesses say was brutally struck and tasered by Santa Barbara Police Officer Aaron Tudor during another DUI stop last October. Luckily just by chance the Santa Barbara Police Department was testing a dash cam in Officer Tudor’s car, and recorded most of the controversial arrest. Here is a link so you may view and decide for yourself.

 Or let’s not forget that back in August of 2009 then SBPD officer B. Sawicki was arrested for exposing himself in front of two teenage girls. During his latest court appearance this past April his trial was again postponed until May 2012. Unfortunately when I tried to update what happen in court for May 2012 my search came up empty. All I know is that as of today the District Attorney’s office has allowed over 33 months to pass with no conclusion. Keep in mind Mr. Sawicki is only on trial for misdemeanor charges that carry with them a maximum sentence of 12 months. All these delays have brought me to question why the California Attorney General’s office did not take charge of the prosecution, since this option was discussed from the onset.

 I do not want to leave out one of the Santa Barbara Police Department's top civilian employees out. She was arrested on suspicion of embezzling 100,000 dollars in parking ticket revenue over several years; the sum was later corrected to 500,000. Karen Flores was the supervisor of the police department's business office and in the beginning was even involved in the task force that was trying to locate the embezzler (herself).

As usual when I finally sit down and try to create a posting worthy of your time, I find myself over run with subject matter. Part of the problem is that the past issues I have already reported on just never seem to go away. A perfect example of that is the Corey Lyons sentencing from four weeks ago (3 murder trials later). Now I was not planning on revisiting this case or creating any new postings. That was until I read comments made by Judge Hill in response to concerns from the defense during final sentencing.  Judge Hill said there were no due process violations against the defendant, and the jury had come to a decision that was “absolutely, amply supported” by the evidence.” NOTHING COULD HAVE BEEN  FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH AND HERE IS WHY. Quite simply it was this next statement that has brought me to challenge what Judge Hill, Prosecutor Zonen and defense attorney Robert Sanger lead us believe during the third murder trial. “Because of the presence of copper in most of the hand three-component GSR particles indicate it was generated by the firing of jacketed bullet(s). Jacketed bullets were not used in these homicides.”Based on this statement the GSR evidence should have exonerated Corey Lyons not convicted him.

If you are like me you had no idea that there could be more than one type of GSR positive test result. As it turns out different types of bullet or rounds have their own unique property. Would you believe defense attorney Robert Sanger hired his own expert to create reports who was even willing to testify yet never called. Sanger seems to have his own specific views when it comes to scientific evidence and even authored an article about just that. In the February 2012 edition of the Santa Barbara Lawyer appeared this article titled; Science and the Law, The Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence, Third Edition authored by none other than Corey Lyons Defense Attorney Robert Sanger. In this article in large bold print Sanger proclaims “All judges and lawyers should consult a Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence before considering expert or scientific testimony. You van view the full article @ ( page 22)
While I was performing research on the Internet a few months back and to my surprise I actually found a web site discussing the Corey Lyons case @ On this site there were five separate reports dealing with the Lyons forensic evidence. It was in the gunshot residue report that first educated me to the fact that different types of hand guns produce their own unique properties. @ 
As I looked around the web site I found a statement by the author of the five reports Bryan Burnett. In it he states that he was retained by defense attorney Sanger to examine the evidence in this case, including the gunshot residue evidence. Later he was asked to do a scene reconstruction, below in italic font is the narrative. Upon my [Mr. Burnett] receiving the reports and images of the two homicides, it became apparent this double homicide was the most complex of my career. The prosecution criminalists were extraordinary inept in not only the processing of the scene but also interpretation. The prosecution's key premise was that the two homicides were performed by one person, Corey Lyons. The evidence shows, however, there were two assailants that night, who were in no hurry to leave the scene after the murders. There is evidence of theft of at least one item and post-mortem manipulation of Daniel Lyon's body.
There were three trials of Corey Lyons, the first ended in mistrial during the that trial, the second ended with a hung jury (seven jurors in favor of acquittal) and the final trial convicted after three hours deliberation. The defense attorney, Robert Sanger, presented a peculiar strategy in defense of Corey Lyons by only attacking the credibility of the prosecution criminalists, but not apparently presenting any expert opinion. In a telephone conversation with Mr. Sanger during the third trial, I offered to testify in the defense case essentially pro bono. In my opinion, Mr. Sanger elected to repeat the flawed strategy of the second trial with disastrous results for Corey Lyons.
Unfortunately I have revisited his web site @ and all the material that I have referenced is no longer available, but I have my copies. @.
Gunshot residue analyses of Corey Lyons hands and possessions:
Lyons GS Report.pdf @ 
 Now we have come to one of the most offensive transgressions of the law by law enforcement I have come across to date; the use of a “Ruse Affidavit.” It seems that the Santa Maria police department has created a non existent, highly unethical and UN-Constitutional document to frame uncharged suspects with crimes as they please.
Now here is my attempt to define the term ‘Ruse affidavit’ based on how it is being used by the Santa Maria Police Department with the permission of the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s office;  Definition of RUSE AFFIDAVIT:  obtaining a judicial signature with a fabricated sworn statement included as part of the affidavit. The only purpose of this act is to induce statements from a suspect whom they lack evidence for, by presenting these known false statements and or facts as true. The fabricated Ruse Affidavit must then be illegally removed from the court files once the suspect is charged so that there is no proof of the arresting officer’s Constitutional violation against the now charged defendant.
 Now it might just be me but it seems that the use of an affidavit is so that no part of a “Ruse” can be part of it. Definition of AFFIDAVIT: A sworn statement in writing made especially under oath or on affirmation before an authorized magistrate or officer that the information before him is true and verifiable. Here is what two Santa Maria Superior Court Judges had to say about he use of “Ruse Affidavits” in cases before them; Superior Court Judge Kuns stated that “Law enforcement cannot violate the law to enforce the law,” as the use of a Ruse Affidavit was being argued before her.
A Santa Maria news paper titled their story on the matter; Judge: Police use of fake paperwork was lawful; “The District Attorney’s Office opposed the defense motion, and Santa Maria Superior Court Judge Rigali ruled in the prosecution’s favor. Even as he cautioned the District Attorney’s Office and police against similar activity in the future”, I have told the prosecution I don’t think this makes sense.” He said after denying the defense motion Tuesday afternoon. “You can do all the fake stuff you want, but you’re not going to do it with the judges.” 
Is it just me of does the Judge label the affidavit fake, advise everyone not to use it again but does not grant the defense's motion? People you do not have to be a lawyer to know there is something seriously wrong here. I also called the Judicial Council and asked for the “Ruse Affidavit” form number and was told that no such form exist Here are two links to the media’s coverage of the two cases in Santa Maria involving the use of “Ruse Affidavits.” @ Or 
As it turns out all my unfinished postings, Public Trust, Fraud or Deception by Law Enforcement, the D.A.’s18 page report, and the remarks by Superior Court Judge Brian Hill made it into this posting.In closing I am sure that many of you are wondering why I continue to take the time to research these issues as I do. Quite simply because just 5 short years ago I too was in Judge Hills court room and being told serving two life sentences was in my future and nobody believed I was a victim of corruption. IN OTHER WORDS THEY LOST MY TRUST.
 As always I ask that if you find value with this posting please share it with as many people as possible.
S.B.C.C.C. The place where common sense never goes out of style.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Santa Barbara District Attorney Joyce Dudley's report on the shooting death of Santa Maria Police Officer Arthur Covarrubias Raise's more Questions than it Answers

Up until last night I have not spent one minute reviewing what happen with the shooting death of Officer Covarrubias in Santa Maria by a fellow officer. But I decided to read the latest about the case and District Attorneys Joyce Dudley’s finding that the shooting was justified. I read the story and I had a couple of concerns but I was willing to let it go. Now 6 years ago I was one of the few people willing to leave a comment about my concerns, not anymore. In just the last three weeks I have seen where as many as 90 comments appear after a story challenging the D.A.’s office or a Judges Verdict.
So I finished the article I was reading and then went on to review the public comments. I swear this is the truth the second comment I read questioned madam D.A Dudley’s facts. You see in her report under “Evidence at the Scene” page 14 Dudley reports that Officer Covarrubias’s duty weapon was a Glock model 15 9mm hand gun.Well the comment I read stated that no such weapon exists and that he even went to the Glock web page and verified this fact. Well you know me always dotting my I’s and crossing my T’s when it comes to verifying facts. So. I to go to the Glock web page and found his statement was true ( How could D.A. Dudley make such a huge mistake about officer Covarrubias’s weapon? Of course now I have to read the 18 page report that the District Attorney based her decision on. Then decide for myself if it warrants more time by me, sadly it does.

So what I did after I read Dudley’s report was to find a media source that reported on the shooting from the very beginning. I reviewed one story after another keeping track of the facts, looking for changes or contradictions. Once again I am here to report I cannot accept the facts as presented by District Attorney Dudley

So after all that I have one question for Santa Barbara District Attorney Joyce Dudley. Is that really the version you want to go with in your Report on the Officer Involved Shooting? In the past I could easily produce four or five postings a week to share and now I try and find almost any excuse not to report my observations, I feel like I am beating on a dead horse. I mean how many different ways can I try and expose corruption and abuse of powers by our elected County Officials, Judges, and District Attorney, Law Enforcement not to mention the SBCERS pension.

Now I am really pushing myself to get my concerns out right away this morning for one reason only. In hopes that the public will start asking their own questions to District Attorney Dudley and anyone else they see fit. Please keep in mind that everything I am presenting here was found in one night with minimal effort by me.

So I am just going to share my observations and leave it up to you how important they are. As I read D.A. Dudley’s report certain things jumped out at me, than as I went through all the Medias stories my concerns were validated.

1-     The time of the shooting was different between the media and the D.A.’s why. The D.A. made a point of stating very clearly the shooting happen after 1:27 am and not 1:10 as reported most times by the media
2-      From the very beginning the media reported that only one shot was fired by Officer Kline hitting Officer Covarrubias in the chest and killing him. Once again I refer to page 14 that states officer Kline fired 3 shots .at officer Covarrubias all hits.
3-     What really bothers me is that time and time again the Santa Maria police also represented that only one shot to the chest was fired. PEOPLE IF YOU FOLLOW UP ON NOTHING ELSE LET IT BE THIS FACT. OFFICER KLINE FIRED 3 TIMES AT OFFICER COVARUBIAS. HITTING HIM TWICE IN THE BACK OF THE NECK AND ONCE IN THE BACK. THE SHOT TO THE BACK WAS BLOCKED BY HIS VEST. IN OTHER WORDS OFFICER COVARUBIAS WAS LAYING FACE DOWN AS HE WAS SHOT.! WHAT THE HELL REALLY HAPPEN THAT NIGHT. Are we to believe that in the heat of battle with an officer on top of Officer Covarrubias. Officer Kline was able to think on his feet, realized that officer Covarrubias was wearing a vest and placed two of his three kill shots to the back of the neck? Is it just me or does this sound a little bit like a movie mafia hit?
4-     I keep wondering how officer Kline did not shot the officer who was on top of officer Covarrubias as reported in the D.A.’s report on page 13
5-     If you review the officer’s actions immediately after the shooting you will find that no one attempted to save Officer Covarrubias, there were over 9 officers present at that time.

I could easily give you 20 more contradictions but do I really have to, the man was shot face down 3 times. But wait there is more did you know that former officers disclosed some details to the Associated Press only on condition of anonymity? The officers, who hade more than six decades of experience between them, independently described what, happened that night. Police at the scene told the retired officers that Covarrubias fired four times, but not at anything or anyone. Here is the link where I found that statement.

So right off the bat the statement made by former officers contradicts page 14 of D.A. Dudley’s report where she states that Officer Covarrubias’s Glcok 15(no such weapon exist)had only fired one round. Then if you look at page 13 on her report officer Guerra also heard 4 shots before the 3 tangled officers fell to the ground, big problems here.Like I just said I could break down why District Attorney Dudley’s report and justification on the shooting should be thrown out. But the only thing that really matters is what you think.

If you find any value with my concerns here please share it with as many people as possible.

Larry Mendoza

Web sites that I reviewed while making this posting.
The report can be viewed at,
Officer Covarrubias

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Once Santa Maria police discovered one of their own was possibly having sex with a 17-year-old girl they set up a ruse to get him to cop to the crime.
As officers attempted to affect the arrest, the officer struggled with the arresting officers, drew his weapon, and fired. In response, one officer on scene fired at the suspect officer hitting him once.

When they made the decision to arrest the officer, additional supervisors were brought in to help with the arrest.  At the time, the suspect resisted arrest, fought with officers, pulled his gun and fired. Another officer at the scene was forced to fire his weapon.

Around 1:10 a.m., officers attempted to arrest him while he was on duty when gunfire was exchanged.
"This is a very tragic and unfortunate situation that unfolded very rapidly and the results are something we are going to have to deal with," said Chief Dan Macagni of the Santa Maria Police Department.
Santa Maria Police said the officer pulled out a gun and shot at them when they tried to arrest him.
One officer responded by shooting him once.
Macagni also would not say how the dead officer found out he was being investigated for having what's been described as an explicit sexual relationship with a 17 year old girl. 
Macagni says the allegations against the officer, if proven true, would have sent him to prison. 
"There is some witness intimidation involved", Macagni says, "the information that we had in hand demanded that we not let him leave that scene, get in a car, drive somewhere, it would put the public at risk, if he did, we just did not know what was going to happen, we did not expect him to react the way that he did." 
Macagni says the officer who fired the fatal shot is at least an eight year veteran of the department and is now on paid administrative leave. 
The Santa Maria Police Department had been conducting an internal criminal Investigation against one of their own members of the department, a police officer, for allegations of sexual misconduct against a minor. That investigation became apparent to the officer being investigated while he was on-duty and it was necessary to make an arrest of the officer. As officers attempted to affect the arrest, the officer struggled with the arresting officers, drew his weapon, and fired. In response, one officer on scene fired at the suspect officer hitting him once.

The shootout happened around 1:19 a.m. near McElhaney and Broadway when Santa Maria Police officers attempted to arrest Covarrubias while he was on duty when gunfire was exchanged.
Santa Maria Police said Covarrubias pulled out a gun and shot at them when they tried to arrest him.
Kline responded by shooting Covarrubias once in the chest.
"I learned that he wasn't shot in the chest, they said he was shot in the neck", Covarrubias Sr. says, "I also learned that nobody gave him any first aid until the paramedics showed up, but it that was the case, what was going on out there, what was really going on out there?" 

It also seeks psychological damages including loss of reputation since Jane Doe was the only female Police Explorer Scout at the time which Goldberg says subjected her to ridicule, contempt and hatred forcing her to leave school.  

According to the DA's report, there was a struggle between two sergeants and Covarrubias who was resisting arrest and had also fired several rounds from his gun. 
The DA's report quotes Sgt. Chris Nartatez, who happened to be Covarrubias's cousin, shouting for help from other officers on the scene. 
"They were attempting to get his gun away from him", says Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley, "there was what Officer Kline described as a "fight for life", there were people yelling "gun, gun, he has a gun", Officer Covarrubias wouldn't let go of his gun and everyone feared that he was going to fire off yet another shot and then Officer Kline shot Officer Covarrubias.
Kline, who happened to be Covarrubias's best friend on the police force, fired three rounds at Covarrubias, according to the DA's report, two of the bullets hitting Covarrubias in the neck which proved to be deadly. 

S.B.C.C.C. The place where COMMON SENSE never goes out of style!