DENVER (CBS4) – A man charged with stabbing an accomplished Denver cook now faces first degree murder charges.

Marlon Casanova (credit: CBS)

Friends tell CBS4 victim Marlon Casanova worked at two popular restaurants downtown. He died near the intersection of 15th Street and Wynkoop Street on Monday.

(credit: CBS)

Denver police first were led to believe Casanova was a homeless man because that’s what the suspect told investigators. But Casanova’s friends believe he was targeted and mugged. They want people to know who Casanova really was.

“He had two jobs. He worked seven days a week. One of the harder working guys I’ve ever worked with and I’ve been doing this for 13 years,” said Austin Hornsby, a friend of Casanova and fellow restaurant employee. “All around just a loving dude.”

Raoul Solis Lanius (credit: Denver Police)

On Thursday the Denver District Attorney announced that they have strengthened the murder charge against suspect Raoul Solis Lanius from second to first degree because there’s apparently evidence this was a premeditated attack.

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