Man accused of using AK-47 to kill woman walking her dog found guilty in Colorado

A man in Denver has been found guilty of killing a woman with an AK-47 while her and her boyfriend were taking their dog for a walk in June 2020, Colorado news outlets report.

Michael Close, 38, got into a “verbal exchange” with the victim, Isabella Thallas, 21, and her boyfriend, Darian Simon, when they were outside his apartment, according to NBC News.

Denver Police believe that Close was angry that the dog was relieving itself, according to 9News Denver.

Soon after the argument started, Close fired the gun through his window toward the couple, NBC reported. Investigators later learned that he had taken the AK-47 from the home of his friend, who was an officer with Denver Police Department, without telling him, according to 9news Denver.

Close was arrested in Park County, according to 9news Denver, and was found with the assault rifle and a handgun in the passenger-side floorboard of his SUV.

Close was found guilty of first-degree murder on Sept. 22 for killing the woman and wounding her boyfriend, according to the Denver Post.

He had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity but the jury rejected that argument, according to The Denver Post. Police said he fired 24 times, shooting Thallas in the back, who died instantly, and Simon twice before he collapsed after running away.

He was found guilty of

  • Two counts of first-degree murder

  • Two counts of attempted first-degree murder

  • Two counts of first-degree assault

“We’ve been waiting two and a half years for this day and what happened in there just went by … almost as fast as my daughter was slaughtered,” said members of Thallas’ family, according to NBC News.

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