DENVER (AP) — A judge has declined to lower bond for a television station security guard charged with second-degree murder in the shooting of a pro-police demonstrator following opposing protests this month in downtown Denver.
Denver District Judge John Madden ruled Wednesday that photographs of the confrontation do not support 30-year-old Matthew Dolloff’s argument that he was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed 49-year-old Lee Keltner, The Denver Post reported. Dolloff was hired by KUSA-TV to protect a producer covering the Oct. 10 “Patriot Muster” demonstration and “BLM-Antifa Soup Drive” counterprotest. ADVERTISEMENT
“The evidence of which the Court is presently aware appears to show that, at the time of the shooting, there was no danger from the victim that placed the Defendant or anyone else in imminent risk of death or great bodily injury, and that the victim was backing away from the Defendant holding a can of mace,” Madden wrote in a six-page ruling.
Public defender Valerie Cole argued during a hearing Friday that Dolloff’s bond should be reduced from $500,000 to between $25,000 and $50,000, citing his deep ties to the community and his lack of a criminal record.
“The district attorney has already declined to file a charge of first-degree murder,” Cole said during the virtual hearing. “I think that speaks to the obvious nature, the obvious questions of self-defense in this particular case.”
Madden noted in the Wednesday order that additional evidence could prompt him to reconsider reducing bond as the case moves forward.
Police say Keltner was arguing with a Black man as the rallies broke up before getting into an altercation with Dolloff.
Keltner slapped Dolloff in the head, and Dolloff pulled out a handgun and shot Keltner as Keltner fired pepper spray at him, according to an arrest affidavit. A cellphone video taken by KUSA’s producer, whose name hasn’t been released, suggests Keltner was upset his initial dispute was being recorded.
Dolloff faces between 16 and 48 years in prison if he is convicted of second-degree murder. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 20.