South Hadley native Andrew Covington makes a name for himself as a prosecutor

NORTHAMPTON – As an athlete at South Hadley High School, where he played two sports and captained the football team, Andrew Covington was an important figure in his school community.

When he graduated, he began to look for other ways to get involved, a search that would eventually lead him to his career as a prosecutor.

Covington said it was during his time at Springfield College that he realized how important the western Massachusetts area was to him. He joined the Newman Community, a Catholic service group, to help give back.

“I think where it all started was at Springfield College, when I wasn’t playing sports anymore,” he said. “Instead of playing sports, I really focused on helping the community.”

After graduating from Roger Williams University Law School in 2013, he returned to Massachusetts and was hired as an assistant attorney in the Northwestern Attorney’s Office.

Now a 34-year-old Easthampton resident, he still holds the same values ​​he developed in college.

“There is something about protecting the people of the community you grew up in that gives you added motivation,” Covington said.

In 2018, he was called to assist the Department of Justice for six months in New Mexico, where he worked as a special federal prosecutor. This mobilization is part of his work in the US Army Reserve, which he works in addition to his post at the public prosecutor’s office.

“I was working with very talented prosecutors,” Covington said. “I absolutely loved it.”

At the end of those six months, Covington was given the option of staying there permanently, which he considered. Eventually he decided he wanted to go back to the area where he grew up.

“I really wanted to come back to my own riding and pursue where I was born and raised,” he said.

Covington has served in the Army Reserve since 2014. He is currently the Senior General Counsel for the 302nd Maneuver Improvement Brigade, located at Westover Air Reserve Base.

There, he works as a prosecutor and oversees all cases of sexual assault within the squad. He was trained to handle sexual assault cases from a previous position where he served as Special Victims Advocate, representing victims of sexual assault in the military.

“He really has a specialty in the military in sexual assault, which the military really needs to deal with and transform,” said Northwest District Attorney David Sullivan.

When Covington first joined the reserve, he served as a first mate and then as a captain. He was promoted to major this month in a ceremony in front of his friends and family in Westover.

Sullivan is happy that Covington can gain a wide range of experiences across the reservations, even if that means stepping away from his post in the District Attorney’s office.

“It’s like an exchange program,” Sullivan joked. “He got all this testing experience at a very high level so he came back and had even better skills than before.”

Covington is known for his honesty, according to retired Superior Court Judge Daniel Ford.

“He has a very good reputation,” said Ford.

“Part of our office’s philosophy is open discovery, which means we give defense lawyers and defendants everything we have,” Sullivan said. “Yeah, he’s really blunt and gives it to them in a timely fashion. “

In 2022, Covington will be promoted to district court attorney to handle child abuse cases in superior court.

“He has a real passion for working with child victims,” Sullivan said. “And that’s really what sets a good child abuse prosecutor apart is asking ‘how do you help children?’

While Covington enjoys his various roles, they can be an emotional challenge as well. He said the two most difficult types of cases for him to prosecute are homicide and drug abuse cases.

“When you are dealing with driving homicides, these are very difficult cases to investigate and prosecute because someone has lost their life as a result of it,” Covington said. “And it can be very difficult and emotionally draining to work with families on these cases. “

Having two jobs can also be difficult, according to Covington. He works for the military on weekends and several weekday evenings a month, which means he doesn’t have a lot of free time. However, his promotion to the rank of major helped prove that his work was paying off.

“The number of people in the office who contacted me from the district attorney’s office about my military promotion was overwhelming and makes you realize that you are doing the right thing by trying to do both jobs,” he said. he declares.

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