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Man found guilty of murdering Isabella Thallas sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole

Michael Close also sentenced to 48 years for attempted murder of Thallas’ boyfriend
isabella thallas.jpg
Posted at 4:36 PM, Nov 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-04 19:18:05-04

DENVER — A man found guilty of murdering a woman and injuring her boyfriend while they walked their dog in the Ballpark neighborhood in June 2020 was sentenced for the crimes Friday.

Michael Close, 38, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibly of parole for the murder of Isabella Thallas and to 48 years for the attempted murder of her boyfriend, 27-year-old Darian Simon.

The sentences are to run consecutively, according to the Denver District Attorney’s Office. Close was also ordered to pay more than $37,000 in restitution.

Close’s sentencing comes two months after he was found guilty by a jury of first-degree murder, two counts of attempt to commit first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree assault.

On June 10, 2020, Close was accused of using a firearm he took from a Denver police officer — a longtime friend of his — to shoot Thallas and her boyfriend, 27-year-old Darian Simon, while they walked their dog outside an apartment complex at 3001 N. Fox Street.

A probable cause statement for his arrest states Close yelled at Thallas and her boyfriend about their dog defecating on the ground near the apartments before firing upon them.

Close allegedly fled from the scene. Jefferson County authorities later contacted him off of U.S. 285 and Close was arrested.

“Mr. Close will pay for what he’s done by spending his life in prison,” Denver District Court Judge Lisa C. Arnolds said during sentencing.

In September 2021, the Isabella Joy Thallas Act went into effect in Colorado. The law requires gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement within five days of realizing it was missing.