CD3’s Boebert relies on unfounded murder case in advocating for open carry

Lauren Boebert speaks to supporters at a rally outside her restaurant in downtown Rifle in November 2020.

The 37-year-old man who Rifle business owner and GOP lawmaker Lauren Boebert alleges was beaten to death in front of her downtown restaurant in fact died of a methamphetamine overdose.

The man’s body, meanwhile, was found nowhere near the front of Shooter’s Grill, according to a Rifle Police Department homicide report released exclusively to the Citizen Telegram.

Speaking on the House floor Wednesday during a debate over background checks, the staunch Second-Amendment advocate again used the 2013 incident to justify why she openly carries firearms.

“There was an altercation outside my restaurant where a man was physically beat to death, there were no weapons involved, he was beat to death by another man’s hands,” she said.

The Citizen Telegram reached Boebert by phone Thursday, but she declined to comment.

Following her comments Wednesday, the Garfield County Coroner’s and Rifle Police Department offices were bombarded Thursday morning by national news outlets — including CNN, Snopes and Washington Post — requesting autopsies and affidavits.

This is not the first time, however, Boebert’s claim over the 2013 has been debunked. The Colorado Sun first reported in late 2020 that the man purportedly killed in front of her downtown restaurant did in fact die from a drug overdose.

According to the official toxicology report conducted by Grand Junction forensic pathologist Robert A. Kurtzman, Anthony “Tony” Green had traces of alcohol, naloxone, marijuana and a high concentration of methamphetamine in his system.

“… the decedent may have been engaged in a physical altercation associated with a drug transaction several blocks away, ran from the scene and collapsed. Drug paraphernalia was discovered with the decedent and the decedent had a history of drug use,” the autopsy report states. “Postmortem examination of the decedent revealed superficial abrasions consistent with a fall. The abrasions were not associated with any internal injury.”

The toxicology report also links Green’s death to a high level of meth, which can cause erratic behavior.

“The decedent did have pulmonary edema (fluid accumulation in the lungs),” the report states. “Pulmonary edema is a condition that may occur in a variety of circumstances including some forms of drug intoxication.”

Police reports reveal, however, that the incident was initially investigated as a homicide.

Around 1 a.m. Aug. 22, 2013, the Rifle Police Department was dispatched to a possible homicide, police reports state.

The investigation revealed that Green had gotten into an altercation with someone in a Kum & Go parking lot near downtown Rifle. Records state that the man was riding with an accomplice when they spotted Green getting dropped off by what looked to be the man’s girlfriend.

From there, the man approached Green and an altercation ensued. The man, a paraplegic who was well acquainted with Green, later stated to investigating officers that Green pushed him and in the process dislodged him from prosthetic leg.

Green then took off running, police records show. He was later found lying unconscious on the east side of Railroad Avenue, near the side of a retail store. A responding police officer, who tried performing life-saving techniques on Green, observed a large gash over Green’s eye and abrasions on his left cheek.

“A quick survey of Green revealed no obvious injuries to the abdomen,” the report states.

Responding officers also found a baggie of meth and a knife near Green’s body.

Green was later pronounced dead at the Grand River Health hospital.

Suspects in this case were never charged or arrested for murder.

Editor’s note: This story originally incorrectly reported where Lauren Boebert was born. She was born in Altamonte Springs, Florida.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.