PD: Fatal stabbing stemmed from argument about sleeping on porch

DENVER - Investigators believe a stabbing in downtown Denver early Monday morning stemmed from an argument about who was going to sleep on the porch of a bicycle shop.

Raoul Lanius, 53, faces charges for second-degree murder in the fatal confrontation, which happened in the area of 15th and Wynkoop streets.

According to a police report, when officers arrived at the intersection just before 12:30 a.m. on Monday, they found Lanius wearing a blue shirt that was covered in blood.

The victim was motionless on the ground. He was identified Tuesday afternoon by the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner as 35-year-old Marlon Casanova. 

According to court documents, Lanius used a knife that he had found in a sewing kit left on a 16th Street Mall bus during the stabbing. He was with a woman who he referred to as his “companion” at the time.

Lanius told police he had camped on the porch before and had permission from the bicycle shop’s owner. At one point, he says the victim walked up to them and said they needed to leave because it was his spot. 

Lanius says the victim walked away but later came back, at which point he picked up the knife. The woman who was there told police the two proceeded to fight, but that she had seen them in confrontations before and was not “afraid or in fear of being injured.”

When asked if Lanius overreacted, the police report says the woman said “yes.”

Casanova was not armed.

Police say Lanius found a couple walking by and asked them to call 911 to report the stabbing.

An autopsy determined Casanova had 14 stab wounds to the face and torso, and that his heart and lung had been penetrated.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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