Yousuf Rasmussen, 24, was the victim killed in the February 2020 stabbing. Credit: State's Attorney's Office.

Sophia Negroponte, 29, daughter of former Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, was sentenced Friday to 35 years in prison on second-degree murder charges related to a February 2020 stabbing in Rockville.

According to Montgomery County Police, Negroponte was first arrested on charges of first-degree murder for fatally stabbing 24-year-old Yousuf Rasmussen in the 400 block of West Montgomery Avenue on Feb. 13, 2020. 

Officials stated Negroponte was drinking the night of the stabbing, when she began arguing with Rasmussen while watching TV. 

According to charging documents, the argument escalated and the two began wrestling on the floor of the Rockville apartment, which led to Negroponte grabbing a knife from a drawer and allegedly aiming it toward Rasmussen’s neck before she stabbed him, according to a witness statement. 

Negroponte reportedly yelled, “I’m sorry,” while she lay on top of Rasmussen’s body after the stabbing, according to officials. 

“[Youssuf] was an extraordinary person and I think that’s reflected in everyone who came today,” said Stephen Rassmussen, the father of the victim, at a press conference held shortly after the trial. 


Rassmussen’s father thanked officials for their work in prosecuting the case. 

“I’d just like to say how extraordinary we found the emergency responders, prosecutor’s office and many others who were involved and I think this community is very fortunate to have people like that,” he said. 

Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy thanked Associate Judge Terrence McGann for “an appropriate prison sentence in this case.” 


“Yousuf Rasmussen was a beloved 24-year-old young man who was supported throughout this trial by friends and family, and he will be greatly missed by all who loved him,” said McCarthy in an official statement. 

Negroponte’s trial began early December, according to Lauren DeMarco, director of public affairs at the State’s Attorney’s Office. The pandemic had long delayed Negroponte’s trial, which was why the Montgomery County Circuit Court decided to go beyond the “Hicks Rule” trial deadline, which is typically 180 days after the defendant’s first court appearance. 

Negroponte’s listed attorneys Andrew Jezic and David Moyse, did not immediately respond to MoCo360’s requests for comment.