Charges to be dropped against Denver man who killed Trump supporter at Patriot Rally

"In line with our ethical obligations, we cannot overcome the legal justifications of self-defense or defense of others," a spokesperson for the DA's office said. "We are not able to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

Prosecutors are reportedly planning to drop the murder charge against unlicensed security guard Matthew Dolloff, who shot and killed a conservative US Navy veteran who was attending a 2020 "Patriot Rally" event in Denver.

According to the Denver Post, local prosecutors are planning to do so because they don't believe they can "overcome" Dolloff's self-defense argument.

On Oct. 10, 2020, the 32-year-old shot and killed 49-year-old Trump supporter Lee Keltner during a confrontation at opposing rallies at Denver's Civic Center.

"Dolloff's attorney, Doug Richards, said prosecutors with the Denver District Attorney’s Office told him they intend to dismiss the second-degree murder case at the pre-trial conference scheduled for March 21," the Denver Post reported.

A jury trial was scheduled to begin April 12. Dolloff has reportedly not been charged with anything else in regards to the shooting.

"I'm just really happy for Matt and his family that the DA finally realized what we’d known all along," Richards said.

Prosecutors informed Keltner's family of their decision Thursday, spokeswoman Carolyn Tyler said in an email to the Denver Post.

"In line with our ethical obligations, we cannot overcome the legal justifications of self-defense or defense of others," Tyler said. "We are not able to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt."

A person can use deadly force under Colorado law only if they reasonably believe that using less force would not be sufficient, and they believe themselves or others are in immediate danger of being killed or injured.

On the day of the shooting, the rally and counter protestors were kept separate by police, up until the end when people were leaving.

Dolloff had been working as a security guard for Denver television station 9News at the time, but was later revealed to have not have been licensed for that work.

The Denver Department of Excise and Licenses said that there were no records of an active "licensed security guard now or ever for an individual named Matthew Doloff or Dolloff."

City spokesperson Eric Escudero spoke on behalf of the department, saying that "If he was operating as a security guard, he was in violation of the law. Security guards are prohibited from carrying or using a firearm without getting an armed firearm endorsement for their license. All security guards in Denver are required to get a federal background check before they receive their license."

According to the Denver Post's report, the fatal confrontation began when Keltner told a producer to put the camera away. Dolloff placed himself between the two individuals, who was reportedly then slapped in the face by Keltner. Dolloff reportedly pulled his gun the same time as Keltner discharged bear spray.

The encounter took place during the clashes when Antifa confronted "Patriot Rally" attendees. The Post Millennial's editor-at-large Andy Ngo reported that Keltner's shooting death was celebrated by Antifa on social media.


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