Sophia Negroponte, daughter of John Negroponte, ex-US intelligence director, sentenced to 35 years for murder
ROCKVILLE, Md. — The daughter of former U.S. intelligence director John Negroponte was sentenced Friday to 35 years in prison for fatally stabbing a friend after a drunken argument at a Maryland home, prosecutors said.
Sophia Negroponte, 30, of Washington, DC, was convicted in January of second-degree murder in the 2020 death of 24-year-old Yousuf Rasmussen. The guidelines called for a sentence of 15 to 25 years, but Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Terrence McGann went beyond those guidelines, citing a need for community protection and rehabilitation, and the calling him a “struggling, angry alcoholic,” the media reported.
“This rage caused Mrs. Negroponte to stab her friend in the neck,” McGann said.
“While nothing can ease the pain caused by this senseless loss of life, we thank Judge McGann for a fitting jail sentence in this case,” Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said in a statement. a statement.
Nearly a dozen people, including Rasmussen’s mother, Dr. Zeba Rasmussen, gave victim impact statements at Friday’s hearing. She remembered her son as charismatic with a “huge and caring heart for everyone”. His father, Steve Rasmussen, called his son a gift, saying his family and friends will always wonder what they lost with Rasmussen’s murder.
All the good things said about Rasmussen were true, Sophia Negroponte said during the hearing.
“He was a very beautiful, loving and caring person. … I’m so sorry,” she said.
Sophia Negroponte was one of five abandoned or orphaned Honduran children John Negroponte and his wife adopted after he was named U.S. ambassador to the Central American country in the 1980s, according to The Washington Post.
Rasmussen and Sophia Negroponte attended the same Washington high school and had been drinking, with another person, the night Rasmussen was killed, McCarthy said. They argued twice that night and Rasmussen left. When Rasmussen returned for his cellphone, Negroponte “stabbed him multiple times, one being a fatal blow that severed his jugular,” McCarthy said.
At trial, defense attorney David Moyse urged jurors to consider Sophia Negroponte to be too drunk to form a specific intent.
“Alcohol has permeated this case from the start; it permeates his life,” he said, adding, “and it is absolutely at the heart of what happened there that night. And that’s one of the main reasons why it’s absolutely not murder.
Former President George W. Bush appointed John Negroponte as the nation’s first Director of Intelligence in 2005. He later served as Deputy Secretary of State. He has also served as Ambassador to Mexico, the Philippines, the United Nations and Iraq.
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