While a three-year-old's shooting of a five-year-old may have been the holiday season's most shocking violent death, it was hardly the only one. Another tragic incident involved elementary school teacher Andrea Roan, who was allegedly slain by Ryan Miller, her estranged boyfriend, with Richard Leavitt accused of providing an assist.
On December 16, Leavitt reportedly drove Miller to Roan's home, an apartment near 12th and Clayton.
Talk about a terrible idea. Earlier in December, Miller had been busted in a domestic violence episode involving Roan, with whom he'd been involved in what's described as a short-term relationship.
A judge had ordered the arrestee to stay away from his former paramour -- but instead, Miller's accused of firing at her as she tried to drive away. The gunshot caused her to crash her vehicle into a garage.
Leavitt and Miller are believed to have left the scene together, with Leavitt allegedly helping his pal hide the murder weapon.
What kind of person was Roan? An obituary originally published in the Idaho State Journal encapsulates a life lost much too soon. It reads:
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Andrea Roan, born on April 25, 1984 in Pocatello, Idaho died unexpectedly on December 16, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. Andrea graduated from Century High School in 2002 and went onto college at University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho State University in Pocatello and Boise State eventually settling in Denver in 2007, graduating with honors and a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from University of Colorado Denver.
Upon graduation she was hired by Alsup Elementary school in Commerce City, Colorado as a fifth grade teacher. She was loved and adored by her students and colleagues.
Andrea enjoyed reading and philosophical conversations, especially about Darwin. Camping, hiking, and anything to do with the outdoors were also favorite pastimes. She truly was a mountain spirit. She adored her three little nieces more than anything, Neila, and as she referred to them the twinners Hayden and Peyton. If she was having a bad day, all it took was one phone call to her nieces and her world would be right again.
Andrea was truly an amazing young woman. She started working for Red Lobster in Pocatello at the age of 16, continued with them while living in Boise, Washington and finally in Denver. She loved living in Denver; she finally found a place where she could thrive in all aspects of life.
She is survived by her mother, Lyrl Jensen (Doug Bundy) step father, Don Jensen (Jenny Payne) sister, Sara Roan and her beautiful little nieces, Neila, Hayden and Peyton with extended family and friends in Idaho and Colorado. She is preceded in death by her Nana and Papa, (Parley and Jean Jensen) and her Aunt Maggie.
Andrea touched many and in the wake of her death the lives of 6 people were saved through organ donation. She was truly a giving person in life and in death.
There are no services planned at this time. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made in Andrea's name to Donor Alliance in Denver, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence or any organization of your choice that will help the fight against domestic violence.
A beautiful light has been taken away; she is now on a new journey and will shine on forever.
Roan's death seems to have struck her family like a thunderbolt, and understandably so. According to CBS4, her mother burst into tears when Miller made a December 28 court appearance -- and when he departed, she blistered him with profanities.
Look below to see full-size versions of the Miller and Leavitt booking photos.
Click here to follow and like the Michael Roberts/Westword Facebook page. More from our Mile High Murder archive: "Dwayne Morris, eighteen, identified as victim of fatal shooting on Robins Drive (32)."