Photo provided by the Denver Police Department

Bustaman Kartabrata

A Denver jury on Friday convicted a 62-year-old man of murdering three members of his family, including his 11-year-old granddaughter.

The jury found Bustaman Kartabrata guilty of three counts of first-degree murder for killing his stepson, Joseph McDaniels; his stepson’s wife, Althea McDaniels; and their daughter, 11-year-old Christine McDaniels.

He was also convicted of one count of felony menacing for the threat he posed to his 9-year-old grandson, who escaped.

Kartabrata shot and killed the three victims on May 23, 2019, in their Bear Valley home as they prepared to move from Denver to Mississippi. Kartabrata was married to Joseph McDaniels’ mother, who sat outside in a car at the McDaniels’ home as her husband opened fire on her son’s family.

The boy, now 12, escaped from the bloodshed and ran to a neighbor’s house to ask for help. When Denver police tracked Kartabrata down at his home a few hours after the shooting, they found six suitcases packed in the front room and smaller bags that contained $30,000 in cash and passports for Kartabrata and his wife, prosecutor Ashley Beck said Wednesday in her opening statement.

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Police never discovered a motive for Kartabrata’s violence, Beck said.

Kartabrata’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Friday. Under Colorado law, first-degree murder carries a mandatory penalty of life in prison.

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