Unlicensed security guard in court for hearing; public defender says his family is receiving threats

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DENVER (KDVR) – A judge said he hopes to decide by Monday whether to reduce the $500,000 bond set for Matthew Dolloff, the unlicensed security guard accused of shooting and killing a demonstrator at a recent Denver protest while working to protect a 9News producer.

Valerie Cole, the public defender who is representing Dolloff, argued that Dolloff’s bond should be reduced to $25,000-$50,000 cash, property or surety bonds.

She said under normal circumstances, she would request a personal recognizance bond on his behalf because “it’s clear he was and did act in defense of himself and in defense of another.” However, she said she understood the significance of the charge against Dolloff when making her request.

Cole said Dolloff was not a flight risk and has extensive family ties in Colorado. She said her office also received approximately 20 letters in support of Dolloff’s character.

She said letters described Dolloff as loyal, kind, supporting, encouraging, respectful, non-violent, a dedicated and loving husband, and a family man.

Austin Leighty, who spoke on behalf of the prosecution, asked for the bond to remain where a judge initially set it.

“Mr. Dolloff brought a gun to downtown Denver and killed somebody,” he said.

During the hearing, Cole argued about the type of access the defense could have to forensic testing and hinted that the defense may raise a defense related to how a gun functions and operates.  

Cole also fought to restrict media access to that allows a recording of Dolloff’s hearings.

While Cole said some media coverage of Dolloff’s case has been favorable, she said the case has gotten so much attention, it was the top trending topic on Twitter on the day of the shooting.

She also called some media coverage “very harmful” and said there have been references and commentary suggesting Dolloff is affiliated with Antifa and a communist.  

“There have been threats on his life and numerous threats on his family’s life to the point to where they had to involve local law enforcement in the area where they reside,” said Cole. She said Dolloff’s family is living in a location that is “presumably providing them some anonymity,” but she said they continue to receive threats on “an almost daily basis.”

Cole also said Dolloff has been placed in solitary confinement in the jail. She said she learned through a social worker at the jail yesterday that Dolloff “is and will remain in solitary confinement for the foreseeable future” because his case is high-profile and “it is necessary for his protection.”

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