Jury finds daughter of former Cabinet official guilty in fatal stabbing of Maryland man

A Maryland jury found the daughter of a former director of national intelligence guilty in the fatal stabbing of a Montgomery County man.

Sophia Negroponte, 29, of D.C., was found guilty of second-degree murder nearly two years after the death of 24-year-old Yousuf Rasmussen, of Bethesda. Negroponte is scheduled to be sentenced on March 31, and she faces up to 40 years in prison.

Yousuf Rasmussen (Courtesy Montgomery County)

Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said the trial, which began on Dec. 6 and was separated by Christmas and New Year, was especially long. He thanked the members of the jury, who deliberated for 16 hours, for arriving at an “appropriate verdict.”

Rasmussen’s parents, Dr. Zeba and Stephen Rasmussen, spoke at a news conference following the verdict.

“Youssuf was a kind and gentle soul, a loving person who brought family and many friends great joy,” Dr. Zeba Rasmussen said.

Rasmussen had graduated from college two months before he was killed on Feb. 13, 2020.

“He was making his way in his life,” McCarthy said.

Negroponte is the daughter of John Negroponte, who was the first-ever director of national intelligence under President George W. Bush and a former United Nations Ambassador. She and Rasmussen knew each other and attended the same high school, McCarthy said. They had been drinking, along with another person, on the night Rasmussen was killed.

Negroponte and Rasmussen argued on two occasions that night; and at some point, Rasmussen decided he was going to leave. He left but came back to get his cellphone. That’s when Negroponte, “armed with a knife, stabbed him multiple times, one being a death blow that severed his jugular,” McCarthy said.

Six hours of video showed how Negroponte continued to function despite the fact that she had been drinking.

“There was a defense of voluntary intoxication, but that defense was rejected by the jury, it seems,” McCarthy said.

Dr. Zeba Rasmussen thanked the police and the first responders who rushed to the scene to try to save her son’s life.

“We will carry him with us forever,” his mother said.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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