The Denver Post - - NEWS - — Kirk Mitchell, The Den­ver Post

Den­ver pros­e­cu­tors have charged a 53-year-old home­less man with first-de­gree mur­der in the stab­bing death of Mar­lon Casanova early Mon­day morn­ing in Lower Down­town.

District At­tor­ney Beth McCann for­mally charged Raoul La­nius on Thurs­day morn­ing in the death of Casanova, 35, who was a chef at Jax Fish House in LoDo and the Truf­fled Ta­ble in Lower High­land.

La­nius claimed he stabbed Casanova af­ter a fight over a sleep­ing space out­side a bi­cy­cle shop at 15th and Wynkoop streets. La­nius told po­lice Casanova charged him af­ter he used a racial ep­i­thet. He said he stabbed the man about 10 times in self de­fense, be­liev­ing Casanova was go­ing to tackle and punch him. An au­topsy showed that Casanova was stabbed 14 times in the face, heart and lungs.

Casanova’s friends, co­work­ers and em­ploy­ers say he was walk­ing home af­ter work­ing a late shift and say there is no way he would have fought over a sleep­ing place be­cause he had an apart­ment nearby. La­nius is in cus­tody in the Den­ver city jail, ac­cord­ing to McCann’s spokesman Ken Lane.

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