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Jury deliberations continue in deadly tunnel dig in Montgomery County

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Posted at 6:04 AM, Apr 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-24 06:06:05-04

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Jury deliberations will resume Wednesday in the murder trial of a wealthy stock trader who was digging tunnels for a nuclear bunker beneath his Maryland home when a fire killed a man who was helping him.

The 12 jurors deliberated for more than two hours Tuesday after hearing attorneys' closing arguments for the case against 27-year-old Daniel Beckwitt. He is charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the September 2017 death of 21-year-old Askia Khafra.

Defense attorney Robert Bonsib told jurors that Khafra's death was an accident, not a crime.

Montgomery County prosecutor Marybeth Ayres said Beckwitt sacrificed safety for secrecy and engaged in "extreme risk-taking behavior" before a fire broke out in his family's home in Bethesda, a Washington suburb.