Breckenridge man accused of killing his roommate may seek bond reduction after months in county jail
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the correct date of the most recent hearing.
A Breckenridge man accused of manslaughter in connection with the 2019 death of his roommate appeared in Summit County District Court for the first time Monday, March 13.
Miles Tovar — who turned himself in to law enforcement in Bridgeport, Connecticut, late last year to end a nine-month manhunt — had refused to attend hearings scheduled in February, while he raised concerns about a conflict of interest with his public defender.
Last month, Judge Karen Romeo ruled that a such conflict existed and ordered new counsel be appointed to Tovar. On Monday, he was represented by his new attorney, Dana Christiansen, and Romeo set another hearing for 9:30 a.m. April 24.
The Summit County Sheriff’s Office arrested Tovar on Nov. 22 on an outstanding warrant for charges of manslaughter, first-degree burglary, first-degree criminal trespass and harassment. He is accused of killing his roommate, Brendan Rye, in 2019.
Tovar has been held in the Summit County jail on a $51,500 bond since his arrest. During the hearing Monday, Christiansen told the court Tovar may be seeking a bond reduction at his next scheduled hearing.
On Nov. 6, 2019 around 9:45 p.m., police responded to the condominium unit in Breckenridge where Tovar and Rye had been renovating and living in, according to an affidavit for arrest filed in the case. Police reportedly discovered Rye lying unresponsive in the bathroom and Tovar lying on the floor in the hallway with a single gunshot to his right leg.
Earlier in the night, Tovar had been drinking at a nearby condominium unit and had been asked to leave after residents of that unit became concerned with his behavior, the affidavit states. He reportedly refused to leave and returned several times after being escorted out.
A third roomate told police he had been in his room that night with headphones in when he felt the whole apartment shake, according to the affidavit. At first, he assumed the shaking was Tovar stumbling while drunk, but when Tovar came to his door to request help, the roommate realized Tovar was bleeding and found Rye on the floor of the bathroom, the affidavit states.
After being released from the hospital for his gunshot wound, Tovar told investigators with the Breckenridge Police Department that he and Rye had gotten into a fight when he returned to his condominium that night, according to the affidavit.
Tovar reportedly said he and Rye had been fighting face to face while standing up in one of the bedrooms when he heard a “Pop!” and realized he had been shot in the leg. He said he then began choking Rye from behind, at which point he heard another gunshot, the affidavit states.
A forensic investigation determined that the trajectory of the first gunshot “was not consistent with Mr. TOVAR’s statements,” according to the affidavit. The forensic investigation reportedly concluded the gunshot wound was more likely inflicted while he had Rye in a chokehold from behind.
Christiansen declined to comment Monday, saying he just got appointed as Tovar’s attorney and is still reviewing the case.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.
Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.
Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.