A former US diplomat’s daughter who was accused of stabbing her friend to death has been found guilty this week of the brutal murder.
Sophia Negroponte, 29, was convicted of second-degree murder Tuesday in Montgomery County, Maryland, the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office said.
She is one of five adopted children of John Negroponte, a diplomat who served as the US permanent representative to the United Nations under former President George W. Bush.
A resident of Washington, D.C., Negroponte was first arrested on Feb. 13, 2020, when officers arrived at a Rockville Airbnb to find her covered in blood and slumped over the body of Yousuf Rasmussen, 24.
Rasmussen had been stabbed in the neck, and was declared dead at the scene.
Jurors watched body camera footage of police entering the Airbnb during the trial. Negroponte’s wails of “Breathe! Breathe!” can be heard on the footage, the Washington Post reported.
Although she was not convicted of the most serious charge against her– first-degree murder– the jury did find that Negroponte acted with “depraved heart” when she wielded a kitchen knife and Rasmussen’s throat during a drunken argument.
The official ruling rejected Negroponte’s attorneys’ argument that her intoxication dissolved her ability to form specific intent, and stated that she aimed to “inflict such serious bodily harm…that death would be the likely result.”
Judge Terrence J. McGann also revoked Negroponte’s bond, highlighting how Rasmussen was “taken from this earth, at a very young age with his whole life ahead of him, in such a horrific way.”
At a news conference on Tuesday, Rasmussen’s family applauded the verdict.
“Yousuf was a kind and gentle soul, a loving person who brought family and many friends great joy,” his mother, Dr. Zeba Rasmussen, said.
“We will carry him with us forever.”
Negroponte now faces up to 40 years in prison. She is scheduled to be sentenced on March 31.
Speaking to reporters after the verdict was read, John Negroponte, who attended every day of the three-week trial, said the family was “very disappointed” by the result.
“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,” the 83-year-old said. He confirmed that her attorneys will seek a just sentence.
“We love and care for this young lady very, very much,” he insisted. “We don’t want to see her life wasted in prison.”