Matthew Dolloff to be charged with second degree murder in the shooting death of Lee John Keltner

If convicted, Dolloff faces up to 48 years in prison.
2 min. read
Matthew Dolloff made his first appearance in court Oct. 11.

Denver District Attorney Beth McCann said Thursday she will charge Matthew Dolloff with second-degree murder on Oct. 19 for killing Lee John Keltner on Oct. 10 as dueling demonstrations wrapped up downtown.

If convicted, Dolloff, 30, faces between 16 and 48 years in jail, according to the DA's office.

Viral videos and still photography appear to show Dolloff shooting Keltner, 49, after a brief altercation.

The Denver Police Department released a narrative earlier this week laying out what happened in the moments before Dolloff shot and killed Keltner.

At about 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10, Keltner began walking from Civic Center Park toward the plaza at the Denver Art Museum, according to DPD. While walking, Keltner began arguing with someone, and others tried to intervene, according to DPD.

Dolloff joined the fray while Keltner was still arguing. At about 3:36 p.m., Keltner, holding an aerosol can of pepper spray, "turns his attention" to Dolloff and "strikes Mr. Dolloff in the side of the head with an open hand," the narrative states.

"Mr. Dolloff is then observed drawing a handgun from his waistband, aiming at Lee Keltner and shooting once, striking Mr. Keltner, as Mr. Keltner discharges his (oleoresin capsicum) spray," the affidavit states. "Mr. Keltner collapsed to the ground."

Officers arrested Dolloff with a semiautomatic handgun in his hand.

DPD pieced together the narrative using nearby stationary police cameras, known as HALO cameras, cell phone videos, photos and witnesses.

DPD has refused a request to make the security camera footage public.

Dolloff was working for Pinkerton, a private security firm hired by 9News to protect its reporters, a common practice over the last few months, the station said. In a statement, the TV station said staffers did not know Dolloff had a gun.

"9NEWS contracted with Pinkerton and had directed that security guards accompanying our personnel not be armed," said Mark Cornetta, president and general manager of the TV station. "None of 9NEWS' crew accompanied by Mr. Dolloff on Saturday were aware that he was armed."

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