Michael Close pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but a jury concluded he knew what he was doing when he opened fire.

DENVER – A man accused of using an AK-47 to kill a woman and wound her boyfriend while they were walking their dog was found guilty of first-degree murder and attempted murder Thursday.

Prosecutors say Michael Clowes, 38, engaged in a “verbal altercation” with Isabella Tallas, 21, and Darian Simon as they encouraged the dog to defecate outside Clowes’ apartment near Coors Field on June 10, 2020.

Clowes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but the jury concluded that he knew what he was doing when he opened fire. This is reported by the Denver Post.

Close yelled out the window at the couple as they urged the dog to “go potty” before retrieving an AK-47 he borrowed from a friend who was a Denver police sergeant. Prosecutors said he fired 24 times.

Close’s public defender, Sonya Prince, said Close had suffered a mental breakdown, saying a rough childhood, a string of job losses, a breakup and the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to his poor mental health at the time of the shooting.

Clowes wept as the verdict was read, as did members of Tallas’s family.

Talas’ mother, Anna Talas, said she felt numb.

“We’ve been waiting for this day for 2 1/2 years and what happened there happened … almost as quickly as my daughter was killed,” she said through tears. “And our lives changed forever.”

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