DENVER — A man accused of using an AK-47 to kill a woman and injure her boyfriend while they were walking their dog was convicted of first-degree murder and attempted murder on Thursday.
Prosecutors allege Michael Close, 38, had “verbal exchanges” with Isabella Thallas, 21, and Darian Simon when they pushed their dog to defecate outside Close’s apartment near Coors Field on June 10, 2020.
Close pleaded not guilty to insanity but the jury concluded he knew what he was doing when he opened fire, The Denver Post reported.
Close screamed out the window at the couple as they urged the dog to “go to the toilet” before getting an AK-47, which he took from a friend who was a Denver police sergeant. Prosecutors say he shot 24 times.
Close’s public defender, Sonja Prins, said Close had developed a mental breakdown, saying a violent childhood, a series of job losses, breakups and the Covid-19 pandemic contributed to her poor mental health at the time of the shooting.
Close wept as the verdict was read, and so did members of the Thallas family.
Thallas’ mother, Anna Thallas, said she felt numb.
“We have waited 2½ years for this day and what happened there just passed… almost as fast as my daughter was slaughtered,” she said in tears. “And our lives changed forever.”
Source : www.nbcnews.com