The 29-year-old daughter of the first-ever Director of National Intelligence has been convicted of murder in the 2020 stabbing of 24-year-old Yousuf Rasmussen.
Sophia Negroponte, daughter of ex-DNI John Negroponte, was convicted of second-degree murder and faces up to 40 years in prison at a March 31 sentencing hearing, the Washington Post reported.
Police found her crying over Rasmussen’s bloodied body, begging him to breathe, in a Maryland rental home the night of Feb. 13, 2020. The focus of the trial was whether she stabbed Rasmussen in the neck with a kitchen knife deliberately or by accident in a drunken fight.
A third person who witnessed the murder said that the two had been drinking, they’d bickered and wrestled on the floor in an argument that heated back up and became deadly, the Post reported.
Sophia’s father, John Negroponte, was the first Director of National Intelligence, an office created by then-President George W. Bush in 2005 to lead the U.S. Intelligence Community. He also served as ambassador to Honduras and multiple other countries, and adopted multiple children from Honduras, including Sophia.
In a statement, Rasmussen’s family said: “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.”
John Negroponte, 83, attended every day of the trial, sitting in the same spot in the gallery’s second row, according to the Post.
“We’re very disappointed, but the jury obviously made its decision,” John Negroponte said of the verdict. He added that prosecutors hadn’t accounted for Sophia’s “severe alcohol use disorder” and “past trauma,” which led her to “a very troubled existence.”
He indicated an appeal was likely, but said the family would discuss it with their attorneys.
Sophia was transferred to jail immediately after the murder verdict. But she had been living with her parents during the trial and is nearing three years of sobriety, her father said.
“We love and care for this young lady very, very much,” he said. “We don’t want to see her life wasted in prison.”