Last week, we told you about the arrest of Michael Burnette after a fatal stabbing in an East Leetsdale apartment. Now, in the wake of Burnette being formally charged with first-degree murder, we've got details via a probable cause statement on view below. According to one source, Burnette murdered his wife, Rebecca Knox, after she threw a walker at him.
At around 6:14 p.m. on October 24, according to the statement, Denver police officers were called to 7005 East Leetsdale Drive after the DPD received a 911 call from Amanda Burnette, daughter of Michael and Rebecca. She told the operator that her mother had been stabbed -- an assertion confirmed when cops and paramedics arrived to find her lying against a recliner, bleeding from her wounds. She was rushed to Denver Health, where she was pronounced dead at 6:44 p.m.
What happened? Amanda told officers that Michael and Rebecca had moved from Tennessee to Colorado about a month ago and had been staying in her apartment since then. The previous day, on October 23, she said the pair had gotten into a fight over an inheritance Rebecca had recently received, with Rebecca subsequently announcing that she didn't want to be with Michael anymore -- and Michael countering that he was going to kill her.
The next afternoon, Amanda and her son headed to a nearby Walmart, where she spent an hour and fifteen minutes or so. Everything seemed fine when she left, but upon her return, she found Rebecca severely injured and called for help.
Michael had been around in the interim, a neighbor told officers. She'd seen him outside the apartment with his dog. Then, before running an errand, she'd seen the dog locked inside Michael's truck but his owner gone. And after coming back to the building, she saw Michael walking across Leetsdale at about the same time she heard Amanda screaming.
More details are provided by a woman from Tennessee, who told a DPD detective that Burnette had phoned her earlier in the evening and allegedly revealed that he had killed "Becky." He told the woman that his wife had been holding a knife and had thrown a walker at him, hitting him in the head. So, she went on, he took the knife away from her, stabbed her twice in the chest and then slit her throat.
As for Michael's arrest, it took place outside W.T. Shorty's Sports Grill on Oneida -- one of his frequent haunts, Amanda told police.
The Denver District Attorney's Office has hit Burnette with a count of first-degree murder after deliberation. He's currently being held without bond and is scheduled to be formally advised of the charge against him tomorrow at 8:30 a.m.
Look below to see a larger version of Burnette's mug shot, followed by the probable cause statement and our previous coverage.
Continue to see our previous coverage, including a map of the area near the scene of the crime. As the metro area's attention was riveted on the bust of Austin Reed Sigg for the kidnapping and killing of Jessica Ridgeway, Denver police officers were quietly making an arrest in another area homicide.
The latter incident involved a woman who was allegedly stabbed to death by Mike Burnette, 55, who's been taken into custody.
At about 6:14 p.m. on Wednesday, October 24, according to a Denver Police Department release, officers were called to 7005 East Leetsdale Drive #A-17, where they found an unconscious woman suffering from stab wounds. She was rushed to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Meanwhile, the cops corralled Mike Burnette nearby and are holding him on suspicion of homicide.
Thus far, the DPD has not released a mug shot of Burnette or shared additional information about what might have motivated the crime. The victim will be identified by the Denver coroner's office.
Look below to see an interactive graphic of the area near the scene. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
View Larger Map
More from our Mile High Murder archive: "Austin Reed Sigg: What we know about teen who allegedly killed Jessica Ridgeway."
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.