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Denver prosecutors drop murder charges against Patriot Rally shooter

Prosecutors will bring murder charges against a former security guard Filmed gunning down a US Navy veteran at a right-wing rally in Denver.

Matthew Dolloff, a 32-year-old private security guard who worked for a Denver television station, shot and killed Lee Keltner49, October 2020 during a heated altercation when Patriot Rally protesters clashed with counter-protesters.

Keltner, who was at the rally with his son, punched Dolloff in the head and prompted the unlicensed security guard to pull out a pistol and shoot the vet while releasing a can of bear spray.

Dolloff was arrested at the scene and later charged with second-degree murder, but insisted he acted in self-defense, which prosecutors admitted Thursday would be too difficult to overcome. The Denver Post reported.

Dolloff was arrested at the scene.
Dolloff was arrested at the scene.
AP

An attorney for Dolloff told the newspaper prosecutors told him they plan to dismiss the second-degree murder charge during a March 21 pretrial conference.

“I’m really happy for Matt and his family that the DA finally realized what we’ve known all along,” attorney Doug Richards told the newspaper.

Richards and a public defender who previously represented Dolloff, who attended the rally to protect a KUSA-TV producer, have insisted the fatal shooting was clearly self-defense.

“Matt has placed his life and now his freedom between those who have now died and the 9NEWS staff,” Richards told the network in October. “This wasn’t a political assignment for Matt. That was just Matt protecting your associate.”

A spokeswoman for the Denver Attorney’s Office confirmed Thursday that prosecutors intend to drop the murder charges against Dolloff, the Denver Post reported.

“Consistent with our ethical obligations, we cannot overcome the legal justifications of defending ourselves or defending others,” spokeswoman Carolyn Tyler said in an email. “We are unable to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Dolloff is sprayed with maces immediately after the shooting.
Dolloff is sprayed with maces just before shooting.
Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images
Dolloff and Keltner punched each other in the fatal brawl.
Dolloff and Keltner punched each other in the fatal brawl.
Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images
Dolloff with his hands up after the shooting.
Dolloff with his hands up after the shooting.
Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Dolloff, who pleaded not guilty in May, was ready to appear in court in April. He was Released from prison Nov after posting a $500,000 bond. The former security officer faced up to 48 years in prison if convicted. He does not face any further charges in connection with Keltner’s death.

Prosecutors notified Keltner’s family of their decision Thursday, Tyler said. A relative of Navy veteran and hatter declined to comment, the Denver Post reported.

With mail wires

https://nypost.com/2022/03/11/denver-prosecutors-to-drop-murder-charge-against-patriot-rally-shooter/ Denver prosecutors drop murder charges against Patriot Rally shooter

JACLYN DIAZ

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