23-year-old woman charged with murder in stabbing death of man in north Seattle

A 23-year-old woman was charged with murder Thursday for the stabbing death of a man who allegedly picked her up and gave her a ride to a fast-food restaurant in north Seattle Monday afternoon.

The defendant, Karen Latham, was charged with second-degree murder and ordered held in King County Jail on $1 million bail. Arraignment is set for April 19.

In court documents, police said Latham told them she flagged down a motorist at 135th Avenue and Aurora Avenue North. A man later identified as Zerabruk Hebtemiriam, 54, stopped, and she asked him for a ride to a Jack in the Box restaurant in the 12500 block of Aurora Avenue North.

The man drove her there, and then she told him she was hungry and asked if he would give her money for food. He gave her $5. She asked for more money, but Habtemiriam refused. She took a switch-blade knife from her bag, held it up and demanded more money. 

He reached across and opened her door and told her to get out of his car, police said Latham told them. She then stabbed him once in the chest, police said, and fled.

Habtemiriam was left bleeding in the parking lot, where a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop is also located. He later died at Harborview Medical Center.

Police were able to locate Latham with the help of witnesses. 

If convicted as charged, Latham could be sentenced from 147 to 244 months in prison.