Ryan Miller gets life for killing teacher and ex-girlfriend Andrea Roan

More than a year ago, we told you about the slaying of Andrea Roan, a much-loved elementary school teacher.

Roan was allegedly killed by Ryan Miller, an ex-boyfriend against whom she'd requested a protection order.

Now, Miller's been sentenced for the crime, joining Richard Leavitt, who'd been previously given a hefty prison jolt for assisting his pal on the lethal mission. Photos and details below.

What kind of person was Roan? An obituary originally published in the Idaho State Journal encapsulates a life lost much too soon.

As the article notes, she was born in Pocatello and attended college in Idaho before completing a Bachelor's degree at CU-Denver in 2007.

Upon graduation, she was hired to teach fifth grade at Alsup Elementary in Commerce City, where she was adored by students and staff alike. She also loved the outdoors and her young nieces, who could cheer her up no matter how bad the day had gone.

The obituary adds that "Andrea touched many, and in the wake of her death, the lives of six people were saved through organ donation. She was truly a giving person in life and in death."

Roan would have undoubtedly spent many more years brightening the days of students, family and friends had she not met Miller. As we've reported, their relationship was apparently of the short-term variety, and it was irrevocably broken in December 2011, when he was arrested following what's described as a domestic-violence episode. Hence her request for a protection order.

In retrospect, it's obvious that the need for such a document was great. On December 16, Miller went to Roan's home -- an apartment near 12th and Clayton -- in the company of Leavitt. When she tried to escape by driving away from him, he opened fire, striking Roan and causing her to crash into a nearby garage.

Afterward, Leavitt and Miller were believed to have left the scene together, with Leavitt allegedly helping his cohort hide the murder weapon.

It didn't take long for investigators to zero in on the pair. Miller made his first court appearance late that month at an emotional hearing: Roan's mother burst into tears at the sight of him and blistered him with profanities as he left.

Now, Miller has been sentenced to life without parole for first-degree murder plus a batch of other offenses: second-degree kidnapping, first-degree burglary, first-degree trespassing and third-degree assault. For his part, Leavitt was convicted of second-degree murder. Last month, he earned 48 years in stir for his part in this terrible crime.

Look below to see an interactive graphic of the area near the scene (if you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map"), followed by mug shots of Miller and Leavitt.

View Larger Map

More from our Mile High Murder archive: "Dwayne Morris, eighteen, identified as victim of fatal shooting on Robins Drive (32)."

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts