There are new details out of Montgomery County regarding the ongoing murder case involving 27-year old suspect Daniel Beckwitt.
Beckwitt faces charges of second degree murder and manslaughter in the death of 21-year-old Askia Khafra.
He appeared in court Thursday and was granted a $100,000 bond with the stipulation that he wear a tracking device.
During the hearing, it was stated that Beckwitt was paranoid of a North Korean missile attack which motivated him to dig tunnels underneath his Bethesda home.
Beckwitt met Khafra online and said he’d give him money in exchange for Khafra’s help digging 200 feet worth of tunnels.
Beckwitt was described as an extreme hoarder who allegedly strung up a haphazard chain of power cords through the tunnels, which prosecutors say may have led to the September fire which killed Khafra.
Beckwitt’s defense attorney insists that his client cared for Khafra and that they had a close partnership.
“He was not held against his will,” said criminal defense attorney Robery Bonsib. “That guy posted pictures of him in the tunnels in his garb and shared with his friends on Twitter and Facebook. Look at those things. He changed his profile picture three weeks before this to promote what he was doing. He was a full participant in what was going on.”
Beckwitt’s activities with Khafra allegedly included blindfolding him at a neutral location and driving him around for an hour or more before finally leading him into his home.
Khafra was allegedly made to sleep, eat and dispose of waste all while continuing to dig Beckwitt’s underground tunnels.
If convicted, Beckwitt will face up to 40 years in prison.