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Trial set for deadly shooting of woman walking dog in Ballpark neighborhood

Michael Close was found competent to stand trial in the 2020 killing of Isabella Thallas despite pleading not guilty by reason of insanity.

DENVER — The trial for the man charged in the deadly 2020 shooting of a woman walking her dog in Denver's Ballpark neighborhood is scheduled to begin July 11.

Isabella Thallas was killed in the June 11 shooting just days before her 21st birthday, and her boyfriend, Darian Simon, was seriously injured.

Michael Close, 38, faces 22 charges in connection to the incident including first-degree murder and using a banned high-capacity magazine. 

> Video above from June 2021: Community transforms corner where Isabella Thallas was shot and killed.

Close pleaded not guilty by reason on instantly in March 2021, but in July 2021, a judge found him sane at the time of the crimes he is charged with, according to the Denver District Attorney's Office.

The jury trial is scheduled to last for nine days at the Denver County District Courthouse.

Credit: Denver Police


According to the arrest affidavit, Close fired at the couple after Simon told their dog to relieve itself near his apartment building in the 2900 block of North Huron Street.

Close was later arrested in Park County. The Denver Police Department (DPD) said an AR-15 and a handgun were found in the passenger-side floorboard of the Mercedes SUV he was driving at the time, as well as a gun belt and firearm magazines.

RELATED: Suspect who killed woman walking her dog found sane to stand trial

Close faces charges for two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault, nine counts of using a prohibited high-capacity magazine during a crime, two counts of prohibited use of a firearm and one count of disorderly conduct.

He also faces four sentence enhancers for violent crime.

According to Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) records, Close had no prior criminal history in the state.

Jennifer Campbell-Hicks contributed to the reporting of this story.

RELATED: 'I feel her soul and spirit here': Permanent memorial built at site where Isabella Thallas was shot

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