Murder Conviction Against The Daughter Of The Former US Intelligence Director Is Overturned By A Maryland Appellate Court

Due to information the jury in the trial shouldn’t have been given access to, an appeals court in Maryland on Tuesday overturned the murder conviction against the adopted daughter of former President George W. Bush’s Director of National Intelligence, John Negroponte.

Murder Conviction Against The Daughter Of The Former US Intelligence Director Is Overturned By A Maryland Appellate Court

The case was sent to a lower court after jury members saw parts of an interrogation video in which detectives cast doubt on Sophia Negroponte’s credibility, according to a report by Washington, D.C. radio station WTOP. Three judges from the Appellate Court of Maryland issued their opinion on the conviction of Negroponte.

A prosecution-presented expert witness who questioned Negroponte’s credibility also testified, and the jury heard his testimony.

The 30-year-old Negroponte was found guilty in January 2023 of second-degree murder in connection with the 2020 killing of 24-year-old Yousuf Rasmussen. She received a 35-year prison term.

Negroponte and Rasmussen were classmates at the same high school in Washington and had been out drinking with a third party on the evening of the stabbing in February 2020. Prosecutors claimed that they argued again that evening.

Authorities claimed that at one point, Negroponte repeatedly stabbed Rasmussen, even severing his jugular, when he went back inside to fetch his phone. Then-27-year-old Negroponte was discovered inside the house drenched in blood, laying on top of Rasmussen, and sobbing, according to criminal documents that Fox News Digital had previously seen.

Investigators claim she confessed to the killing. Defence attorneys contended that their client could not have formed particular intent since she was so drunk at the time.

During the appeal, her lawyer contested Negroponte’s version of events, arguing that jury members shouldn’t have seen some of the statements made when the police were questioning her.

The court decided that Negroponte’s inability to recall parts of the evening and the detectives’ remarks that it was “odd” should not have been allowed to be included in the trial.

The jurors should not have been subjected to certain questions, the court stated, even though the investigators did not always ask inappropriate questions.

The forensic psychiatrist, one of the prosecution’s specialists, asserted that Negroponte’s account of the events was not trustworthy, and the appeals court discovered issues with this assertion.

The expert said during testimony that “you have to take what she says with a grain of salt because she has an incentive to embellish or diminish the amount of alcohol she used because she’s in that situation.”

The prosecution’s expert witness’ testimony, according to the appeals court, was inadmissible as Negroponte’s reliability was the “heart of this case.”

Following his appointment as the United States ambassador to Honduras in the 1980s, Negroponte and his wife, Diana, adopted five abandoned or orphaned Honduran children.

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