Tahoe man sentenced in death of roommate
A South Lake Tahoe man has been sentenced to one year in El Dorado County Jail for the killing of his roommate last year.
On May 3, El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Suzanne Kingsbury sentenced Brad Macewan, 55, to a year in jail in connection with the death of his 52-year-old roommate Patrick Lee Rego.
The sentence was part of a plea agreement between prosecutors and public defenders.
South Lake Tahoe police arrested Macewan in the early morning hours of July 27 on suspicion of second-degree murder after Macewan found Rego dead at the residence they shared on the 3700 block of Forest Avenue. The two had fought each other earlier that evening.
Macewan was released pending further investigation and re-arrested in San Diego in October after an El Dorado County criminal grand jury indicted him on a single count of murder. Macewan pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in February.
El Dorado County Chief Public Defender Rick Meyer declined to comment on the case Wednesday. El Dorado County Deputy District Attorney Robert Priscaro said several aspects of the incident led prosecutors to agree to the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter. The case “had some problems,” Priscaro said.
Rego had a reputation as someone who was “pretty aggressive” and would fight at the “drop of a hat,” Priscaro said. Macewan contended that Rego “came after him pretty good” during the altercation that led to Rego’s injuries, according to the prosecutor.
Rego sustained the injuries during the “heat of passion” of the fight and died of “massive internal injuries” caused by blunt-force trauma, Priscaro said.
Both Rego and Macewan and drug and alcohol problems and had been drinking in the hours prior to the incident, although Macewan was more intoxicated than his roommate, Priscaro said.
The men had also been friends for several years and many people said they were like brothers, Priscaro said. People who knew the men have said the pair were known to fight.
Macewan will be required to serve five years of formal probation following is release. He also received a six-year suspended sentence state prison sentence as part of last week’s hearing, meaning that, if he is convicted of future crimes, he could be required to serve prison time. He will also be required to pay restitution to Rego’s family.
Macewan will be eligible for release to a residential alcohol rehabilitation program after serving 270 days in custody, according to court records.