Abdu Latif Kazembe Abunantambu-el's obsession with woman leads to murder
Abdu Abunantambu-el. Photos and more below.
Abdu Latif Kazembe Abunantambu-el is said to have known Christine Kernan for less than a week when he showed up at her home. But his apparent obsession with her quickly led to the stabbing murder of Levi Johnson, a guest whose attempts to defend her ended in tragedy.
Now, Abunantambu-el has been sentenced to thirty years in the killing -- the brutal capstone of a lengthy criminal career.
According to the First Judicial District DA's office, Abunantambu-el's conviction in Johnson's death was his seventh for a felony -- and because the court that ruled on his case found him to qualify as a habitual criminal, his sentence was enhanced.
The incident that took Johnson's life got underway on the evening at August 24, 2012 at Kernan's home, located at 5840 Pierce Street in Arvada, an area captured in the following interactive graphic. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
View Larger Map
Prior to that night, Abunantambu-el, who was also known as Paul McKnight, had been harassing Kernan from a distance. The DA's office maintains that he was fixated on her and called her repeatedly before showing up at her place.
When he arrived, Kernan wasn't alone. She was entertaining Johnson, nicknamed Bubba, and his wife -- and when Abunantambu-el pushed his way inside and began attacking Kernan, Johnson leaped to her defense.
In response, Abunantambu-el beat him severely. Johnson fought back until Abunantambu-el found a kitchen knife and began stabbing him, the DA's office says.
Afterward, prosecutors say Abunantambu-el held Kernan captive, even forcing her to clean up Johnson's blood.
The killing was a shock to Johnson's family, which included a wife, three daughters and seven grandchildren. His online obituary include memories of his infectious humor. He was buried at Fort Logan National Cemetery.
As for Abunantambu-el, he was found guilty in March of the following counts:
• 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)
The result was a thirty-year sentence that should keep the 53-year-old Abunantambu-el in custody well into his dotage.
Here's the most recent mug shot for Abunantambu-el.
Abdu Latif Kazembe Abunantambu-el.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Mile High Murder archive circa September 2013: "Photos: Isabella Guzman stabbed mom 79 times, affidavit says."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.
- Reader: Pot Shops That Sell to Minors Hurt the Whole Industry and Here's Why
Fri., Oct. 9, 7:00pm
Sat., Oct. 10, 2:00pm
Sat., Oct. 10, 5:00pm
Sun., Oct. 11, 12:00pm
- Bet the Local Record Store Named One of America's Best Will Surprise You
- Dear Mexican: What Is the Bolo Tradition for Godparents?