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Daughter of former US spy chief John Negroponte found guilty of fatally stabbing a 24-year-old man after a drunken argument

Business Insider India logo Business Insider India 08-01-2023 Bethany Dawson
  • The daughter of former Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte has been found guilty of murder.
  • She fatally stabbed 24-year-old Yousuf Rasmussen after a drunken argument at a Maryland home.

The daughter of the first Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte has been found guilty of second-degree murder after fatally stabbing a 24-year-old man, AP reports.

Sophia Negroponte, 29, was convicted of second-degree murder by a Montgomery County jury in Maryland earlier this week after she was found guilty of the 2020 death of Yousuf Rasmussen.

According to Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy, they were both intoxicated when they had two arguments inside a Montgomery home. After the second argument, Rasmussen returned as he had left his cell phone.

McCarthy states that Negroponte then "stabbed him multiple times, one being a death blow that severed his jugular," per AP.

According to the Washington Post, the jurors decided that Negroponte was not guilty of first-degree premeditated murder. They believe she "acted with extreme disregard of the life-endangering consequences" and "a depraved heart."

After announcing the verdict, Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Terrence J. McGann said that Rasmussen was "taken from this earth, at a very young age with his whole life ahead of him, in such a horrific way."

"Yousuf was a kind and gentle soul, a loving person who brought our family and his many friends great joy in his 24 years of life. We will carry him with us forever," Rasmussen's family said in a statement.

Negroponte's attorney urged the jury to recognize the quantity of alcohol his client had consumed on the night of Rasmussen's death, saying that she was too intoxicated to act with intent.

According to the Post, Negroponte's attorney David Moyse said, "alcohol pervades this case from the start; it pervades her life. It is absolutely at the heart of what happened there that night. And it's one of the major reasons that this is absolutely not a murder."

John Negroponte, 83, adopted Sophia when she was an abandoned child in Honduras, along with four other children, according to AP.

Speaking to reporters after the verdict, Negroponte said, "neither the prosecutors nor perhaps the jury took into sufficient consideration the complexities and mitigating circumstances of the case — Sophia's past trauma and other factors that led to a very troubled existence. She's had severe alcohol use disorder," per the Washington Post.

"We love and care for this young lady very, very much," he said. "We don't want to see her life wasted in prison."

Sophia Negroponte faces up to 40 years in jail and will be sentenced on March 31.

President George W. Bush appointed John Negroponte as the nation's first Director of National Intelligence in 2005.

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