header background image
Current Weather 64° F
  • Jefferson County District Attorney Banner
  • District Attorney

    Life Plus 30 Years in Prison for Arvada Murder


    A 53-year-old Denver man was sentenced to life plus 30 years in prison for the murder of Levi Johnson in Arvada in August, 2012. Abdu Latif Kazembe Abunantambu-el, also known as Paul McKnight, was found guilty of eight counts at his trial on March 5, 2014.

    This was Abunantambu-el’s seventh felony conviction. He was also convicted of habitual criminal counts which enhanced the sentence.

    Arvada Police were called to 5840 Pierce Street, Arvada on August 24, 2012 where they found Levi Johnson, 52, bleeding, in front of the house. He had been beaten and stabbed repeatedly and died from his injuries.

    Earlier that 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 fought with Christine Kernan and then attacked Levi Johnson. Mr. Johnson fought back and struggled to defend himself when Abunantambu-el began stabbing him.

    Christine Kernan 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 Arvada Police Department did a great job in this investigation,” said District Attorney Pete Weir, “Mr. Johnson attempted to de-escalate the violence in the house that night and to protect Christine Kernan. For his effort he was brutally murdered.”

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

    May 15, 2014

    Abdu Abunantambu-el


    Last Updated: 5-15-2014
  • 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.