Bethesda man with secret tunnels beneath his home makes court appearance

Askia Khafra, 21, died in the basement of this Bethesda home in September. County officials have since condemned it. (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service)

WASHINGTON — The 27-year-old Bethesda man who had a network of secret tunnels beneath his home and who is charged with second degree murder in the basement fire that killed a man a year ago appeared in court for a hearing Tuesday.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Daniel Beckwitt’s lawyer renewed his demands that the state provide more details in its allegation that Beckwitt acted in disregard for human life.

Askia Khafra, 21, who was digging the tunnels that sank 20 feet below Beckwitt’s house, died last September when the basement caught fire.

Prosecutors says Beckwitt knew of the fire hazard because of the dangerous hoarding conditions and various electrical cords used in the tunnels.

Beckwitt’s next court date is Oct. 12.

WTOP’s Dick Uliano contributed to this report. 

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