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Man sentenced to 26 years to life in fatal stabbing of cousin

A 30-year-old man was sentenced July 7 to 26 years to life in state prison in the fatal stabbing of his cousin in Long Beach, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

A jury found Bryant Keith Underwood, a black male, guilty of first-degree murder May 29 with the special allegation that he used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a knife, in the commission of his crime, according to a news release from the district attorney’s office.

His cousin, Ahkeem Dashawn Johnson, a 27-year-old black man, was stabbed to death April 8, 2014, in his apartment in the 2000 block of Locust Avenue in Long Beach. 

Long Beach police officers went to the scene about 1:20 a.m. in response to a 911 call reporting strange noises coming from Johnson’s apartment. When officers arrived, they found Johnson with 28 stab wounds in his neck, back and torso, according to prosecutors. 

Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:37 a.m., according to coroner’s records.  

Witnesses told the police that they saw Underwood unsuccessfully try to jump the back fence of the apartment complex after the stabbing, according to prosecutors. He was arrested a short time later as he tried to leave the complex.

During the trial, officers testified that when Underwood was arrested, his clothing was covered in blood, he was wearing a bloody glove and he dropped two large bloody knives as the officers approached, according to the news release. 

— Jeanette Marantos

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