DENVER — The unlicensed security guard charged with second-degree murder following a deadly shooting at dueling Denver rallies has waived his right to a preliminary hearing, according to the Denver District Attorney’s Office.
Matthew Dolloff, 30, is no longer in custody after posting a $500,000 bond. The next step in the legal process for him is an arraignment, and a date for that proceeding could be set on Friday.
During a preliminary hearing, prosecutors can present evidence and call witnesses, who can be cross-examined by the defense team. At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge determines whether there is enough evidence for the case to go to trial.
If not, charges against the defendant are dismissed.
Dolloff is now being represented by Doug Richards, a private defense attorney, instead of the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office.
Dolloff is accused of fatally shooting 49-year-old Lee Keltner on Oct. 10 outside the Denver Art Museum. It happened near the end of two dueling demonstrations that included members of Black Lives Matter as well as people attending what they dubbed a “Patriot Muster.” During a previous court date, Dolloff’s defense team claimed the shooting was self-defense.
>>> The video above is from a previous 9NEWS report about the shooting.
According to a probable cause (PC) statement released by the Denver Police Department (DPD), Keltner and another man were engaged in a “verbal dispute” where both men “yelled and postured” outside the art museum. Witnesses told investigators they believed "the men may engage in a physical altercation," the PC statement says.
Witnesses said Keltner was seen holding a bottle of OC spray before he hit Dolloff on the side of the head with an open hand, the PC statement says. Dolloff then took a gun out of his waistband and fired one shot at the same time Keltner sprayed the OC spray, according to the PC statement.
Keltner immediately collapsed, and Dolloff was taken into custody. Keltner later died at the hospital.
Keltner, reportedly a Navy veteran, worked as a hatter and was also a part of Colorado’s motorcycle community. The Biker Down Charity started a fundraiser for his family, describing him as a husband, father and friend to many.
Dolloff was contracted through the company Pinkerton by 9NEWS. It has been the practice of 9NEWS for a number of months to contract private security to accompany staff at protests.
Dolloff was not licensed to provide security services as required in the City and County of Denver, according to the city’s Dept. of Excise and Licenses.
Isborn Security Services agreed to surrender its license in Denver earlier this month as a result of the shooting, and Pinkerton Consulting and Investigations is slated to appear at a hearing with the excise department in February.
9NEWS management released the following statement about the incident on Oct. 12:
“9NEWS continues to cooperate fully with law enforcement and is deeply saddened by this loss of life.
“For the past few months, it has been the practice of 9NEWS to contract private security, through an outside firm, to accompany our personnel covering protests. Pinkerton, the private security firm, is responsible for ensuring its guards or those it contracts with are appropriately licensed. 9NEWS does not contract directly with individual security personnel.”
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