DA's office: Man justified in fatal apartment shooting

No criminal charges for the Douglas County man who shot a woman in an Oct. 18 altercation

Posted 11/22/19

The man who shot a woman in a Lincoln Station apartment complex acted in self-defense, the district attorney's office says, and will not be charged with second-degree murder. Justin Chaney, 45, …

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DA's office: Man justified in fatal apartment shooting

No criminal charges for the Douglas County man who shot a woman in an Oct. 18 altercation

Posted

The man who shot a woman in a Lincoln Station apartment complex acted in self-defense, the district attorney's office says, and will not be charged with second-degree murder.

Justin Chaney, 45, fatally shot Kelly Kiess, 24, in an Oct. 18 altercation at the WestView at Lincoln Station apartment complex at 10181 Park Meadows Drive, near Lone Tree.

A letter from the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office was released Nov. 22. The letter, signed by Chief Deputy District Attorney Gary Dawson, stated criminal charges would not be pursued given a summary of facts and analysis of the case.

“Here, although Mr. Chaney could have taken steps to deescalate the situation…the law does not require him to do so,” the letter states.

According to the letter and an arrest affidavit, here's what happened:

At 4 p.m. Oct. 18, Chaney confronted a 22-year-old man who tried to enter the building behind him without a key fob to enter and threatened to call the police. The man tried to explain he lived with Kiess and wanted to retrieve his cell phone. The 22-year-old entered the building and he and Chaney both walked up the stairs.

Kiess came out of her apartment with her dog and the argument continued. The 22-year-old man slapped Chaney. Chaney then pulled out a handgun tucked in his pants and pointed the gun at the other man.

Kiess went back into the apartment and came out with a handgun, pointed it at Chaney and yelled at Chaney to drop his gun.

“Mr. Chaney turned and pointed his gun at Ms. Kiess and said, 'you know what?' and pulled the trigger one time,” the Nov. 22 letter states, citing Bernadeau's report to deputies. Chaney shot Kiess in the chest, the letter states.

“When Ms. Kiess pointed her weapon at Mr. Chaney, she placed him in fear of `imminent danger of being killed,'” the letter states. “The question that remains is whether that fear is reasonable as required to invoke the self-defense statute…”

“Given the tenseness of the situation, and the speed of the event, I believe the jury would find Mr. Chaney's fear was reasonable.”

The 22-year-old man was arrested on an assault charge, but that charge also was dropped.

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