Karen Latham via Facebook
Just after 4 p.m. on Monday, a man pulled into the parking lot of a Jack in the Box restaurant on


Karen Latham Faces Murder Charge for Switchblade Stabbing at Krispy Kreme

Karen Latham via Facebook
Just after 4 p.m. on Monday, a man pulled into the parking lot of a Jack in the Box restaurant on Aurora Avenue in north Seattle. Charging documents filed yesterday afternoon by King County Prosecutors explain why he never made it into the restaurant: at the Krispy Kreme across the street, 23-year-old Karen Latham was allegedly busy stabbing to death the man who had just given her a ride and meal money.

The would-be Jack in the Box customer, Richard Abker, heard screaming and spotted the victim, Zerabruck Habtemiriam, on the pavement "bleeding profusely" next to his car. "Please don't let her get away!" Habtemiriam reportedly cried, gesturing toward a young black woman wearing a white jacket. "She stabbed me!"

Abker hustled back to his car and followed the woman, later identified as Latham, as she walked south. As Latham passed the bus stop at 125th and Aurora, she reportedly caught a man named Michael Abel staring at her. She was a mess. Abel later told police that Latham had her hair in a ponytail, and was wearing a floral-patterned blouse and blue jeans -- all covered in blood. "I'll fucking stab you in the face too!" Latham allegedly snapped.

Still trailing in his car, Abker watched as Latham entered the Nites Inn Motel on 117th and Aurora. He dialed 911 and waited for police to arrive. The cops eventually hauled Latham out of the motel, and Abker identified her as the attacker in the Krispy Kreme stabbing. Habtemiriam was taken to Harborview Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Latham allegedly confessed to the killing during an interrogation with SPD homicide detectives, telling them it all began when she flagged Habtemiriam down at 137th and Aurora and asked for a ride to Jack in the Box. When they arrived at the doughnut shop next door, Latham asked for food money. Habtemiriam gave her $5, but that wasn't enough -- she allegedly pulled a switchblade from her purse, "sprung the blade," and demanded more. Habtemiriam leaned over, opened the passenger side door, and told Latham to get lost. According to court documents, Latham plunged the knife into Habtemiriam's chest, and "blood spurted from the wound."

Police recovered the knife from Latham's handbag, as well as her blood-soaked clothing. She was charged yesterday in King County Superior Court with second-degree murder, and is currently being held in lieu of $1 million bail. If convicted, she faces a 12-20 year prison sentence.

According to Latham's Facebook profile, she attended high school in Newark, New Jersey and worked briefly as a hotel maid and magazine salesperson in Grand Rapids, Michigan before moving to Seattle. She is reportedly a mother, and picture of her baby's father shows him wearing a red bandana and flashing an ESP (East Side Piru) gang sign. Her about me says, "IMMA BAD BITCH SO COME FUCK WIT IT!!!"

Karen Latham Homicide Charge

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