Bethesda Man Recieves Reduced Sentence in Tunnels Death Case

by Patrick Herron

On Tuesday, Daniel Beckwitt was resentenced to ten years in prison, with all but five suspended, and an additional five years of supervised probation upon release for the 2017 death of Askia Khafra.

Beckwitt was originally sentenced to nine years in prison for second-degree “depraved heart” murder and involuntary manslaughter, but the “depraved heart” conviction was overturned by a state appeals court in January 2021.

He will also need to complete 250 hours of community service. Beckwitt will receive credit for time served, which is nearly three years.

Khafra died after he could not escape Beckwitt’s basement during a fire.  Khafra was working for Beckwitt to dig secret underground tunnels beneath Beckwitt’s home on Danbury Rd. in Bethesda. The tunnels were part of an elaborate underground bunker that Beckwitt was building for protection in case of a nuclear attack.

Beckwitt had Khafra work in the tunnels for days at a time and would lower a bucket to him to use the bathroom, according to NBC 4. Beckwith, a millionaire stock trader, is a known conspiracy theorist and computer hacker.

“Our thoughts remain with the Khafra family who continues to grieve the loss of their son, Askia, every day. Today Judge Schweitzer sentenced at the top of the Maryland sentencing guidelines for a manslaughter charge. We respect the sentence and the legal process that brought us here. As previously stated, we are pleased that the Maryland Court of Appeals, the highest Court in Maryland, affirmed the conviction on the critical charge of Involuntary Manslaughter in the case of State v. Daniel Beckwitt. I am proud of the work my office did on this incredibly complex and challenging legal case and I thank Assistant State’s Attorney, Marybeth Ayers, along with Montgomery County Police Detective, Michelle Smith, and Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Captain, Erin Worth, for their tireless efforts in this matter,” said State’s Attorney John McCarthy.


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1 comment

Oz January 16, 2023 - 11:07 am

9 years is a JOKE.


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