Most of us probably agree that degrees of love exist on some sort of scale or continuum with true love existing at the top of the scale. The young man charged with murdering his ex girlfriend’s boyfriend probably did not love her in this sense. Suskiewich’s notion of love is much lower on the scale being closer to possession. He was one of the vertices on a deadly love triangle.
The Arroyo Hondo man accused of killing a man on Christmas morning will continue to be held without bond after his arraignment Tuesday in Taos Magistrate Court.
Charles Suskiewich, 19, is charged with murder, tampering with evidence and possession of a stolen firearm in connection with the shooting of 21-year-old Dylan Breternitz several times in the stomach.
Breternitz died of his injuries after being airlifted to Christus-St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe.
Suskiewich was arrested barely an hour after the shooting in his Arroyo Hondo home, where police found him packing.
According to the probable cause statement made public Tuesday in magistrate court, Breternitz’s girlfriend told police the couple was sleeping when Breternitz woke her and told her to hide in the bathroom because Suskiewich was “freaking out.”
The woman then told police she heard Breternitz speaking to someone, followed quickly by gunfire and the sound of Breternitz falling against the bathroom door. She said she then opened the door and called 911 from Breternitz’s cell phone.
According to police documents, Suskiewich’s girlfriend also called police about his alleged intentions. In her statement, Suskiewich’s girlfriend told police that Suskiewich showed up at her window around 2:30 a.m. Christmas Day “ranting about his demons and my demons” while going for a relative’s shotgun that was in the bedroom.
The woman told police that Suskiewich was threatening suicide, demanding to know if she had an affair with Breternitz and refusing to move until she said if she loved him.
When she admitted she had slept with Breternitz, the woman told police, Suskiewich began hitting himself with the rifle and trying to choke her. The girl’s family came in on the fight and quickly called police as Suskiewich fled the scene.
The woman said in her statement that shortly after he left, Suskiewich called her on her cell phone, saying that “Your new boyfriend’s dead because of you,” and “When Dylan didn’t answer, I knew he was telling the truth.”
He also told her that he was planning to leave the area, and she in turn alerted police.
While securing Suskiewich’s house, police also located a .357-caliber handgun on a closet shelf, matching four spent shells found at the scene.
When briefly interviewed by the Taos Police Department, Suskiewich did not say whether or not he killed Breternitz specifically, but did say that he “knew what he did” and that he’d been on a “self-destructive path” of late. Suskiewich told police he’d been drinking heavily the night of the shooting in an effort to kill himself.