A judge has granted a request by prosecutors to drop a second-degree murder charge against a former television station security guard who shot and killed a pro-police demonstrator following protests in downtown Denver in 2020.
The Denver Post reports that District Judge Brian Whitney granted the request on Monday to drop the charge against 32-year-old Matthew Dolloff. Dolloff had pleaded not guilty in the shooting death of 49-year-old Lee Keltner during a confrontation after a “Patriot Muster” demonstration and another by left-leaning counter-protesters.
Keltner had participated in the “Patriot Muster” rally before he was slain. Dolloff’s attorneys argued he shot Keltner in self-defense. Dolloff had been hired by KUSA-TV to protect a producer covering the Oct. 10, 2020 protests.
Denver District Attorney Beth McCann’s office had confirmed this month that she planned to dismiss the charge because prosecutors could not refute beyond a reasonable doubt his claim that he fired in self-defense.
During their confrontation, Keltner slapped Dolloff in the head and Dolloff shot Keltner with a handgun as Keltner fired pepper spray at him, according to an arrest affidavit.
Lee Keltner’s sister, 48-year-old Suzan Keltner, and supporters protested the outcome outside the courthouse Monday.