Maryland court upholds Daniel Beckwitt’s manslaughter conviction

Maryland’s top court upheld a conviction of involuntary manslaughter against the Maryland millionaire who hired a man to build him a doomsday bunker that became his tomb.

Daniel Beckwitt — a stock trader in his late 20s who feared a North Korean nuclear strike, hired Askia Khafra, then 21, to dig him a 200-ft. network of tunnels underneath his home. When a fire broke out as he was working, Khafra died from smoke inhalation and burns.

He was unable to escape, in part because Beckwitt blindfolded him each day.

Beckwitt was charged and convicted with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter.

Daniel Beckwitt was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and second-degree murder for Askia Khafra’s death.
Askia Khafra died while working for Daniel Beckwitt.

The Maryland Court of Appeals on Friday tossed the more serious charge, finding that while Beckwitt’s actions showed “a wanton and reckless disregard for human life,” they did not demonstrate “an extreme indifference to the value of human life.”

He’s been behind bars since 2019 — when he got nine years. Now he will be re-sentenced.

“We always felt that this case was overcharged from the beginning,” Megan Coleman, a lawyer representing Beckwitt, said according to NBC.

Dia Khafra displays a photo of his son, Askia.
Dia Khafra displays a photo of his son, Askia.

With Post wires

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