header background image
Current Weather 70° F
  • Jefferson County District Attorney Banner
  • District Attorney

    Jeffco Jury Returns Guilty Verdict in Arvada Murder


    A Jefferson County jury found Abdu Latif Kazembe Abunantambu-el, DOB: 9-7-60, of Denver, guilty of First Degree Murder in the stabbing death of Levi Johnson in August, 2012. The jury returned its verdict on March 5, following a week of trial.

    Arvada Police were called to 5840 Pierce Street, Arvada, at 7:40 p.m. on August 24, 2012. They found Levi Johnson, 52, bleeding, in front of the house. He had been beaten and stabbed repeatedly.

    Earlier in the evening, Levi Johnson and his wife were at the home of Christine Kernan, 5840 Pierce Street, when Abunantambu-el arrived at the house and pushed his way inside. Abunantambu-el, who was also known as Paul McKnight, fought with Christine Kernan and then attacked Levi Johnson. Levi fought back and struggled to defend himself, but was fatally wounded when Abunantambu-el found a kitchen knife and began stabbing him.

    Christine had known Abunantambu-el for less than a week. He was fixated upon her and had called her repeatedly that evening before he appeared at her door. After the fatally wounded Levi Johnson escaped from the house, Abunantambu-el held Christine Kernan captive inside the house and forced her to clean up the blood and evidence from the assault.

    The jury found Abunantambu-el guilty of:
    • First Degree Murder (F1)
    • Second Degree Murder (F2)
    • 2 counts of First Degree Burglary (F3)
    • Third degree assault (M1)
    • Second Degree Kidnapping (F4)
    • Tampering w/ Physical Evidence (F6)
    • False Imprisonment (M2)

    Abunantambu-el has six prior felony convictions. He will be tried as a habitual criminal on May 14 at 8:00 and will be sentenced immediately following that proceeding.

    Pam Russell
    DA Public Information
    303-271-6905
    prussel@jeffco.us

    March 7, 2014

    Abdu Abunantambu-el


    Last Updated: 3-7-2014
  • The filing of a criminal charge is merely a formal accusation that an individual has committed a crime(s).
    A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. See Colo. RPC 3.6.