Family upset after murder charges dismissed for man's death from Durham bar fight

30 March 2022

— A day of sadness and frustration for the family of a man killed in a deadly encounter at a Durham bar.

On Tuesday, a judge sentenced Daniel Mohar to serve eight months in prison for the death of Edward ‘Teddy’ Tivnan. Tivnan’s loved ones said they’re upset over first and second degree murder charges being dismissed.

“It’s been emotionally draining,” said Tivnan’s sister Mary Long.

Tivnan’s family spent days in court before learning the fate of a man accused of killing their loved one.

“It’s a tough pill to swallow … there’s definitely something missing in the family unit,” said Long.

Mohar pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter following a week-long trial in Durham. A judge determined state prosecutors didn’t prove Mohar killed Tivnan with malice, which led to the dismissal of a second-degree murder charge.

Daniel Mohar, fatal Durham bar fight

“I don’t think there’s any sentence that is ever adequate when somebody takes someone’s life,” said Long.

The sentencing stemmed from an incident in June 2019 at the Social Games and Brew Bar on West Main Street, which has since closed its doors.

“Teddy was outgoing, loud — not in a boisterous way. Whatever transpired verbally was just a part of who Teddy was,” said Long.

That’s when Mohar hit Tivna, knocking him to the ground where he hit his head on the pavement. Tivnan died in the hospital two days later.

His daughter Cameron Hudson said the sentencing doesn’t fit the crime.

“I’m mind-boggled that someone is going to prison for eight months for taking someone’s life,” she said. “What kind of example are we setting for everyone else in the Durham community? It makes you lose faith, and it’s disgusting and it’s terrible.”

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In a statement shared with WRAL News following the ruling, attorneys representing Mohar said they had a “great deal of sympathy for the Tivnan family,”

“They were told for years that facts of what happened that night supported a murder charge when that was simply not true. If this case had been correctly charged from the beginning, it might have saved both families a great deal of anguish during the legal process,” Thomas, Ferguson and Beskind, LLP said in a statement.

Tivnan’s family said they’re left feeling empty without the joy he brought to their lives.

“I am lost … it’s disheartening. Someone’s life was taken and it shouldn’t have happened,” said Hudson.

“He was so outgoing. Maybe he offended someone — doesn’t mean he had to die for it,” said Long.

The Durham County District Attorney’s Office said the ruling wasn’t the outcome they wanted, but the conviction will follow Mohar forever.

“Through this plea, Mr. Mohar has taken responsibility for his dangerous actions and the tragic death of Mr. Tivnan. Violence is never the answer. All homicide cases are complex; in this case, video did not capture the entire altercation, and there was a claim of self-defense as well as difficult legal questions concerning the defendant’s intentions,” said Durham County’s District Attorney’s Office.

In addition to serving eight months in prison, Mohar must complete three years of supervised probation, anger management classes and undergo electronic monitoring for 90 days.​

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