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Colorado man gets life sentence for killing peacemaker during girlfriend's fight

On Thursday, Omar Nieves, 29, was convicted of first-degree murder by an Adams County jury at the end of a four-day trial. The judge sentenced Nieves immediately after the verdict to life in prison. 


Nieves was found guilty of fatally shooting 24-year-old Miguel Antonio Chavez-Eagle on July 14, 2023. 

The two men and two women went out the previous night to a nightclub then attended an early morning afterparty, according to the arrest affidavit in the case. The four agreed to meet at a home in the 11500 block of East 118th Avenue in Commerce City in separate vehicles. 

At some point during their outing, one of the women accused accused Nieves of touching her inappropriately. As stated in the affidavit, the other woman, Nieves's girlfriend at the time, confronted the accuser woman in the driveway of the home in defense of Nieves. 

Chavez-Eagle was attempting to break up the argument between the women when Nieves walked up and shot him in the forehead, per the affidavit. 

Nieves and his then-girlfriend fled the scene in their cars. Police were called and arrived at the house shortly after 6 a.m. Officers found Chavez-Eagle lying dead between two vehicles in the driveway.

Nieves was identified by witnesses and through videos from neighbors' security cameras. He was named a suspect by police and turned himself in days after the shooting. 

"This was a sad and tragic case where an innocent victim was gunned down for absolutely no reason," said Brian Mason, the 17th Judicial District attorney, after the sentencing. "It's heartbreaking to see a young life cut short over nothing. Gun violence -- particularly amongst young people -- continues to plague this community and now we have another young victim who is dead."  

According to his obituary, Chavez-Eagle had worked his way up to a surgical technician from a position in the laundry room at a UC Health facility, which he started at the age of 18. 

"His dream was to become an ED/trauma nurse," the obituary stated. "Miguel's life was taken while protecting someone else's life. He was a true hero not only in scrubs, but out of them as well."

A contempt of court civil suit was filed by the county against Nieves and one of the women the same day as the verdict and sentence. 

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