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Testimony ends in Maryland murder trial over fire in secret tunnels

Testimony ends in Maryland murder trial over fire in secret tunnels
Daniel Beckwitt is charged with murder in the 2017 death of Askia Khafra, who was helping him dig a network of tunnels beneath his Maryland home when a fire erupted. (Montgomery County Police Department via AP)

Jurors are set to hear closing arguments in the trial of a wealthy stock trader charged with murder in the death of a man who was helping him dig tunnels for an underground nuclear bunker.

Defense attorney Robert Bonsib said his client, 27-year-old Daniel Beckwitt, didn't testify before prosecutors and defense lawyers finished presenting evidence from witnesses Wednesday. Attorneys are scheduled to give closing arguments Tuesday.

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Beckwitt is charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the September 2017 death of 21-year-old Askia Khafra.

Khafra died in a fire that broke out as the two were secretly digging the tunnels at Beckwitt's Bethesda home.

During the trial's opening statements, a prosecutor said Beckwitt sacrificed safety for secrecy. Bonsib told jurors the fire was an accident, not a crime.

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