By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver District Attorney’s Office formally dropped charges today against Matthew Dolloff. He served as the security guard for KUSA-TV 9News during a 2020 protest and counter protest. Dolloff fatally shot Lee Keltner, 49, who attended a “patriot muster” at the Civic Center Park amphitheater.

A Black Lives Matters counter protest was held nearby. There were no issues until the rallies
had ended.

Matthew Dolloff (credit: CBS)

Keltner crossed 14th Street into the area between the Denver Public Library and Denver Art Museum. An argument took place during which time photos show Keltner slapping Dolloff.

Keltner released an orange color dispersant, and Dolloff fired his weapon killing Keltner.

(Photo by Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

District Attorney Beth McCann issued a statement saying in part, “Mr. Keltner verbally threatened and physically assaulted Mr. Dolloff and was the initial aggressor before being shot. Under Colorado law, Matthew Dolloff had no duty to retreat and was legally justified in his actions. While I do not agree with Mr. Dolloff’s decision to use lethal force, the fact remains he had the right to do so under our law.”

Keltner’s sister, Susan, strongly disagreed with the decision to drop the charges. She along with friends and family members carried protest signs outside the courthouse. She requested to read a statement in court, but the judge denied the request.

Outside, she said Dolloff should have been tried on the second degree murder charge. The trial was due to begin in April.

The Denver DA’s office said in a statement on Monday, in part, “Prosecutors have an ethical obligation to proceed with a criminal case only if they believe they can prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt which is why the case was dismissed today in Denver District Court.

Rick Sallinger