FOX31 Denver

Denver jury finds man guilty of killing 3 family members

Denver Police Department - Bustaman Kartabrata

DENVER (KDVR) – It took over three hours for a Denver jury to return with a guilty verdict for the man who was charged with killing three members of his family back in 2019.

Bustaman Kartabrata, 62, was found guilty Monday of three counts of first-degree murder, according to the Denver District Attorney’s Office. His victims were Joseph McDaniels, Althea McDaniels and their young daughter, Christine. Joseph was the man’s stepson.

Additionally, he has been found guilty of menacing the 9-year-old witness of his crimes. Kartabrata is due in court on May 6 for sentencing.

Details of the case against Bustaman Kartabrata

According to court documents obtained at the time of the crime, officers were sent to the 3000 block of South Golden Way in southwest Denver around 9:30 p.m. on May 23. The caller told dispatchers a boy had run to his home and said that his mother, father and sister had been shot.

Once officers arrived at the scene of the shooting, they discovered three victims inside the residence with multiple gunshot wounds. Althea was pronounced dead at the scene, while Joseph and Christine were taken to local hospitals, where they were pronounced dead.

On the day of the shooting, the McDaniels family had been packing up their belongings ahead of their move to Mississippi, as they had recently sold their home.

The boy told investigators that earlier that day, a man named Bustaman Kartabrata came to the family’s home, but left after discovering that both Joseph and Althea weren’t there. Kartabrata later returned, when the two were home.

At one point, Joseph told his stepfather about the plans to sell the house. The boy told investigators that after the adults were done talking, Kartabrata and his grandmother, who had joined him on his second visit to the home, left and sat in their vehicle outside.

The family finished packing Joseph’s Jeep before going back inside and locking the door.

At this point, Kartabrata walked back up to the home, saying that the boy’s grandmother had forgotten her purse. She stayed in the car while Kartabrata entered the home. He then shot Joseph and Althea in front of the boy. He then proceeded to chase down his 11-year-old sister, Christine, and shot her.

The boy’s other grandmother, who was also in the house at the time of the shootings, escaped through the second-story window.