A man has been found guilty of killing a dog walker and seriously injuring her boyfriend more than two years ago following a dispute over their dog defecating outside the man’s apartment.
A jury in Denver, Colorado found Michael Close guilty of two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree assault in the death of Isabella Thallas, a reported 9News.
Close’s sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 4, when he faces a mandatory life sentence. The 38-year-old pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the fatal incident on June 10, 2020.
The shooting occurred in the Ballpark District of downtown Denver when an AK-47 was used to shoot Ms. Thallas, who had just turned 21. The two dozen bullets that came from an apartment window were also aimed at her boyfriend, Darian Simon, according to reports. the local television station.
Mr. Simon was hit twice, appropriately Denver Post. As she managed to flee the scene before collapsing, Ms Thallas was struck in the back and died instantly.
Close’s legal team argued that he was criminally insane at the time of the attack, but the jury found that Close, 38, was aware of his actions when he fired at the couple because they apparently urged them to the pet to defecate outside its apartment.
Ana Thallas, whose daughter was killed, told reporters that “we’ve been waiting two and a half years for this day and what happened there passed … almost as quickly as my daughter was sacrificed.”
“Our lives have been changed forever,” she said.
Deputy Public Defender Sonja Prins argued that Close had a mental breakdown before the killing, citing childhood experiences of trauma and abuse. She also mentioned a series of job losses, a breakup, and the pandemic, all of which negatively affected her mental state in the summer of 2020.
Prosecutors argued that Close was sane at the time of the shooting. He first yelled at the couple from his window when they told their dog to “go potty,” according to Denver Post.
He then grabbed an AK-47 that he got from a friend who worked as a police sergeant and started firing as he returned to the window.
Close’s ex-girlfriend testified in court that after the shooting, he called her and said he “just killed two people.”
He left his house and drove into the mountains with his rifle and pistol. He was apprehended later that night on Highway 285 in Jefferson County.
Ms Thallas’ father, Joshua Thallas, told the media there was “no justice in this”.
“There is so much loss everywhere. Our family obviously, Bella’s friends lost, the community lost, even Close’s family lost today because of his poor choices,” added Mr Thallas, according to Denver Post.
Source : www.independent.co.uk