Court tosses murder conviction over fire in secret tunnels

first_imgCOLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — A Maryland appeals court has overturned a wealthy stock trader’s conviction on a murder charge in the fiery death of a man who was helping him dig tunnels for an underground nuclear bunker. Daniel Beckwitt was sentenced in 2019 to nine years in prison after a jury convicted him for the death of 21-year-old Askia Khafra. A Court of Special Appeals panel ruled Friday that the evidence wasn’t sufficient to sustain Beckwitt’s second-degree “depraved heart” murder conviction. But it upheld his involuntary manslaughter conviction. Prosecutors said extreme hoarding conditions in Beckwitt’s home prevented Khafra from escaping after a fire broke out above the tunnels in a suburb of Washington, D.C.last_img