Daughter of former DNI head found guilty of second-degree murder

Fatal Stabbing-Ex-Diplomat's Daughter
This photo provided by the Montgomery County Police Department shows Sophia Negroponte. AP

Daughter of former DNI head found guilty of second-degree murder

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The daughter of John Negroponte, a former U.S. director of national intelligence, has been found guilty of second-degree murder and faces spending the next four decades behind bars.

A jury on Tuesday convicted Sophia Negroponte, 29, in the 2020 stabbing death of her friend Yousuf Rasmussen.

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Maryland authorities responded to a 911 call on Feb. 13, 2020, that a man had been stabbed in the neck during an altercation at an Airbnb. When they arrived, they found Negroponte covered in blood and lying on top of Rasmussen, yelling, “I’m sorry,” according to court records.

Rasmussen was pronounced dead on the scene, and police took Negroponte into custody.

The case against Negroponte centered on whether she purposely tried to kill Rasmussen by stabbing him in the neck with a kitchen knife or if he was cut accidentally during a drunken argument that escalated into a violent fight.

Assistant State’s Attorney Donna Fenton told jurors during closing arguments that Negroponte’s hand was “on that knife when it was plunged into his face, and cut across his throat, and plunged into his neck, where the blood came down, and he collapsed almost immediately.”

Negroponte’s lawyer, David Moyse, told jurors that they should factor in the role alcohol played in the altercation. He argued that she had so much alcohol in her system that she couldn’t form specific intent, the Washington Post reported.

Jurors did not find Negroponte guilty of first-degree murder, the most serious charge she faced, but instead said she acted with intent “to inflict such serious bodily harm” to Rasmussen that death would be the “likely result.”

Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Terrence McGann ordered Negroponte’s bond revoked, and she was taken to jail. She will be sentenced at a hearing on March 31. 

Her father, John Negroponte, was appointed by former President George W. Bush in 2005 as director of national intelligence. He also served as ambassador to the Philippines, Iraq, the United Nations, and Honduras. He and his wife, Diana, adopted Sophia from an orphanage in Honduras after serving there.

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“We’re very disappointed, but the jury obviously made its decision,” John Negroponte, who attended the trial every day in support of his daughter, said following the verdict.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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