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How a millionaire hacker and his fear of nuclear attack led him to become an unintentional killer

An in-depth look at the bizarre case of Daniel Beckwitt and the death of Askia Khafra, a man hired to dig tunnels underneath a home in Bethesda.

Samantha Kubota, Lauryn Froneberger

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A crowded courtroom on the seventh floor of the Montgomery County Circuit court fell silent on Monday morning, as the family of 21-year-old Askia Khafra filed into the front row.

Their son had died in a house fire on Danbury Road in Bethesda, almost two years prior. 

In the days and months that followed, as more details revealed themselves, the circumstances of how exactly young Askia Khafra had passed away grew increasingly strange.

It all culminated on that Monday - June 17 - when a judge sentenced the man blamed for his untimely death, Daniel Beckwitt, to nine years in prison and five years of probation.