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Colorado Man Accused Of Killing Woman In Fight Over Dog Poop Appears In Court
Michael Close is alleged to have opened fire on a couple who were walking their dog near his apartment building this summer, injuring one and killing the other.
New details have been released followed the shooting death of a Colorado woman earlier this year who was killed while walking her dog.
Michael Close appeared in a Denver courtroom on Monday to face charges related to the June 10 murder of Isabella Thallas. A judge denied him bond in the hearing, CBS Denver reports. Close stands accused of having opened fire on Thallas and her boyfriend, Darian Simon, while they were walking their dog in the Ballpark area this summer.
On the day of the shooting, Thallas, 21, and Simon, 27, were walking their dog near Fox Street at around 11:40 a.m. when the dog defecated in a rock garden near Close’s apartment building, police claim, according to KDVR. Close is alleged to have then opened his window and yelled out at the couple, “Are you going to train that f--king dog or just yell at it?” Prosecutors say that Close was then caught by a surveillance camera pointing a rifle through his blinds and targeting the couple while Simon began picking up the dog’s poop; Close then began shooting, firing 24 rounds at the pair, killing Thallas and striking Simon twice in the legs.
After the shooting, Close allegedly fled the scene in a black Mercedes SUV and called his girlfriend, a woman identified as Chelsea Thompson, to say that he had fatally shot two people and was sorry, according to KDVR. Thompson met police at the scene of the shooting and relayed this information, and they were able to track Close’s cellphone to find out his location. Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested him at Pine Junction; Detective Joseph Trujillo with the Denver Police Department testified on Monday that Close was crying as he was taken into custody and repeatedly apologized.
Thompson reportedly told police that Close had an untreated personality disorder and depression, and struggled with substance abuse and alcoholism. An unnamed friend of Close’s also told police that Close had revealed to him that he’d been sexually abused by his parents as a child; the friend planned to take Close to see a therapist on the day that he killed Thallas.
When police searched Close’s home, they found multiple firearms, as well as open containers of alcohol and traces of cocaine, KDVR reports. Close, who did not have a criminal record, was indicted on numerous charges earlier this year, including first degree murder, attempted first degree murder, first degree assault, and various charges related to his use of a firearm with a high-capacity magazine. The judge on Monday ruled that he return to court on January 4, 2021 for his arraignment, according to KDVR.
Thallas was killed just two days after her 21st birthday, 9News reports. A month after her passing, the community began renovating the park near where she was killed in her honor, adding a painted mural of her face to a nearby wall as a tribute, according to the outlet.