Denver man who used AK-47 to kill woman, her boyfriend convicted of murder

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Denver man who used AK-47 to kill woman, her boyfriend convicted of murder

DENVER - A man accused of using an AK-47 to kill a woman and wound her boyfriend as they walked their dog was convicted of first-degree murder and attempted murder on Thursday.

Prosecutors said Michael Close, 38, had gotten into a verbal exchange with Isabella Thallas, 21, and Darian Simon as they were encouraging their dog to relieve themselves outside Close's apartment near Coors Field on June 10, 2020.

Close had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but jurors concluded that he knew what he was doing when he opened fire, The Denver Post reported.

The couple yelled out the window at the couple as they urged the dog to go potty before he got the AK-47, which he had taken from a friend who was a Denver police sergeant. Prosecutors said he fired 24 times.

Close's public defender, Sonja Prins, said Close had suffered a mental break, a string of job losses, a breakup and the Covid-19 epidemic contributed to his poor mental health at the time of the shooting.

Members of the Thallas family cried as the verdict was read.

She said that she had been waiting 2 years for this day and what happened in there just went by almost as fast as my daughter was slaughtered.