Daughter, 29, of former National Intelligence Director under Bush is found guilty of murder


The daughter of the former US National Intelligence Director has been found guilty in the stabbing death of a Maryland man after an argument at an Airbnb.

A Montgomery County jury on Tuesday convicted Sophia Negroponte, 29, of second-degree murder in the February 2020 death of Yousuf Rasmussen, news outlets reported. 

Negroponte faces up to 40 years in prison at sentencing on March 31. 

She is the daughter of John Negroponte, who was US Ambassador to the UN under George W Bush from September 2001 to June 2004, before being named the United States’ first ever Director of National Intelligence in 2005. 

Yousuf Rasmussen

A Montgomery County jury on Tuesday convicted Sophia Negroponte (pictured left), 29, of second-degree murder in the February 2020 death of Yousuf Rasmussen (pictured right), news outlets reported 

Sophia Negroponte and Rasmussen attended the same Washington high school and had been drinking at a Maryland Airbnb, along with another person, on the night Rasmussen was killed, Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said. 

They argued twice that night and Rasmussen left. When Rasmussen returned to get his cellphone, Negroponte ‘stabbed him multiple times, one being a death blow that severed his jugular,’ McCarthy said.

Defense attorney David Moyse had urged jurors to consider that Sophia Negroponte was so intoxicated that night that she couldn’t form specific intent.

‘Alcohol pervades this case from the start; it pervades her life,’ he said, adding, ‘and 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.’

Jurors did not find Negroponte guilty of the most serious charge she faced, first-degree, premeditated murder, according to the Post. 

But they convicted her of second-degree murder, finding that she intended ‘to inflict such serious bodily harm’ to Rasmussen ‘that death would be the likely result.’

Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Terrence J. McGann ordered her bond revoked, noting that Rasmussen was ‘taken from this earth, at a very young age with his whole life ahead of him, in such a horrific way.’

Sophia Negroponte and Rasmussen attended the same Washington high school and had been drinking, along with another person, on the night Rasmussen was killed, Montgomery County State's Attorney John McCarthy said

Sophia Negroponte and Rasmussen attended the same Washington high school and had been drinking, along with another person, on the night Rasmussen was killed, Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said

Police say Sophia Negroponte stabbed Rasmussen after an argument in February 2020

Police say Sophia Negroponte stabbed Rasmussen after an argument in February 2020

Sophia Negroponte is the adopted daughter of John Negroponte, a former US Ambassador to the UN. John Negroponte is seen above in Bogota, Colombia, in May 2019

Sophia Negroponte is the adopted daughter of John Negroponte, a former US Ambassador to the UN. John Negroponte is seen above in Bogota, Colombia, in May 2019

‘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,’ Rasmussen’s family said in a statement. ‘We will carry him with us forever.’

After the verdict, John Negroponte, 83, said his family will discuss a possible appeal with their attorneys.

‘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,’ John Negroponte said.

President George W. Bush appointed John Negroponte as the nation’s first intelligence director in 2005. He later served as deputy secretary of state. He also previously served as ambassador to Honduras, Mexico, the Philippines, the United Nations and Iraq.

He had previously served as ambassador to countries including Honduras, Mexico, and the Philippines under Bill Clinton, George H W Bush and Ronald Reagan.

Negroponte and his wife, Diana Negroponte, adopted five girls during their time in Honduras – Sophia, George, John, Alexandra, and Marina.

President Bush, left, looks on as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, right, ceremonially swears in Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, second left, at the State Department in Washington in 2007

President Bush, left, looks on as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, right, ceremonially swears in Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, second left, at the State Department in Washington in 2007

After the verdict, John Negroponte said his family will discuss a possible appeal with their attorneys

After the verdict, John Negroponte said his family will discuss a possible appeal with their attorneys

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk