A Denver man accused of fatally shot and killed a woman and injuring her boyfriend during a dog poo confrontation pleaded not guilty of madness.
37-year-old Michael R. Close practically stepped out of prison during Monday’s court appearance because he fatally shot Isabella Thomas, 21, with an AK-47 and wounded her friend Darian Simon, 27, in front of his apartment in the city’s ball park had section on June 10, reported the Denver Post.
Police said Close took the rifle from a Denver police officer who was his friend and used the sergeant’s personal weapon without his knowledge, the newspaper reported.
Investigators said at a preliminary trial in November that Close pulled off 24 shots at the couple from a semi-automatic rifle while they were walking their dog. Close yelled at Thomas and Simon after their dog pooped in a rock garden outside his apartment, an investigator of the murder testified.
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“Are you going to train this king dog or just yell at him?” According to Joseph Trujillo, an investigator in the Denver police force, Close said.
37-year-old Michael R. Close, accused of fatally shot and killed a woman and injuring her boyfriend during a dog poo confrontation, pleaded not guilty of madness.
(Denver Attorney’s Office)
Close then allegedly opened fire, killing Thomas and wounding Simon’s leg and buttocks. He fled in his car after the shooting and was arrested later that day in Jefferson County during a traffic obstruction, the Denver Post reported.
Close, who faced 22 criminal offenses in the shooting, including first degree murder, is now undergoing a mental health examination to determine his mental health. If he is ultimately found not guilty of insanity, he will be sent to a mental health facility rather than prison, the newspaper reported.
Thomas’ mother, meanwhile, said she was “angry” with Close’s plea and called it “utterly disgusting”.
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“What upsets me the most is the fact that he knew right about wrong,” Ana Thallas told the newspaper. “He admitted what he did, even showing a sense of remorse after doing it … if someone knows right about wrong and that they screwed it up, what’s this madness?”
Trujillo testified in November that Close’s girlfriend, Chelsea Thompson, told police officers he called her to cry after the shooting and admitted opening fire on two people, KDVR reported.
Thompson also told police her boyfriend was “mentally unstable” and hadn’t known him all along, Trujillo said. Close’s girlfriend said he was also diagnosed with depression and personality disorder but had not sought treatment, the officer testified.
Isabella Thomas, 21, was fatally shot and killed with an AK-47 on June 10 in Denver.
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Thompson said Close had a history of drug abuse, including cocaine, and recently resumed drinking after three years of sobriety, Trujillo said.
Close, who has no criminal record, will appear in court on May 10, the Denver Post reported.
To read more from the New York Post, click here.