20-Count Indictment Returned in Brutal DC Mansion Slayings | NBC4 Washington

20-Count Indictment Returned in Brutal DC Mansion Slayings

Indictment charges Darron Wint with 12 counts of first-degree murder

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    Darron Dellon Dennis Wint is charged with 20 felonies, including 12 counts of first-degree murder while armed, in the deaths of a northwest D.C. couple, their 10-year-old son and their housekeeper in their multi-million-dollar home. Jackie Bensen reports. (Published Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016)

    A grand jury returned a 20-count indictment Wednesday against the suspect in the gruesome deaths of a couple, their young son and their housekeeper inside their multi-million-dollar Washington, D.C., mansion last May. 

    Darron Dellon Dennis Wint is charged with 20 felonies, including 12 counts of first-degree murder while armed, in the deaths of 46-year-old Savvas Savopoulos; his wife, Amy, 47; their 10-year-old son, Philip, and housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa, 57.

    The murder charges include four counts each of felony murder in the course of a kidnapping, felony murder in the course of a burglary and felony premeditated murder.

    The indictment describes the slayings as "especially heinous, atrocious and cruel," and if a jury agrees, Wint faces life in prison without possibility for release on each murder charge. The minimum sentence is 30 years on each murder charge.

    Sean Rayford/Getty Images

    Telephone messages seeking comment left Wednesday evening with Wint's lawyers were not immediately returned, the Associated Press said.

    Wint, 35, of Lanham, Maryland, kidnapped the victims inside the Savopoulos home, extorted $40,000 from them, killed them and set fire to the $3 million house, the indictment says. He held the victims captive for roughly 18 hours May 13 and 14, police said.

    Police previously said they believed Wint had help from others holding the Savopouloses captive, according to charging documents, but no other suspects have been identified. In a statement Wednesday, prosecutors said the investigation continues.

    There is evidence that the victims were tied up and possibly tortured, and the weapons included a baseball bat, Samurai swords and an unknown sharp object, police said.

     

    Savvas Savopoulos, Amy Savopoulos and Figueroa were beaten with a bat and stabbed with a sharp object, according to the indictment. Philip was stabbed and burned.

     

    Police who investigated the scene said in court filings that Philip was found inside a bedroom, which was burned so badly, it was impossible to identify the boy.

    Police also found a bloody baseball bat at the scene.

    The amount of time the family may have been held can be traced through phone calls and texts from the Savopoulouses and their housekeepers. 

    A source close to the family detailed a call from Amy to Savvas on May 13, asking Savvas to come home. Police believe Amy, Philip and Figueroa were already being held at that time. 

    Hours later investigators believe Wint forced Savvas to make a call to another housekeeper, known as Nelly, to make sure she would not come to the house that day.

    On a voicemail, Savvas is heard telling Nelly to stay home because Amy is home sick, Vera is staying with her and the couple is "going through some stuff with Philip." He asks that Nelly send a text message to confirm the voicemail was received.

    On the morning of May 14, a final text message was sent to Nelly from Amy's phone. "I am making sure you do not come today," the message said.

    The family's 2008 blue Porsche was later found torched in the parking lot of a church in New Carrollton, Maryland, about 13 miles from the Savopoulos home. A detective said Wint's DNA was found on a construction vest inside the car. 

    The detective also revealed that $30,000 of the $40,000 ransom has been accounted for. Police found $10,000 in money orders inside the vehicle Wint was in prior to his arrest. Cash and money orders worth $20,000 were also found inside a panel truck that was accompanying Wint. 

    Wint, who also goes by Daron Dylon Wint, was identified as a suspect through DNA found on a Domino's pizza crust found at the crime scene. But he had already fled the D.C. area, authorities say. Investigators tracked him to Brooklyn, New York, where they barely missed him. Wint paid someone in cash to drive him from Brooklyn back to Maryland, sources say.

    He was arrested May 21 after police found him riding in a two-vehicle caravan in northeast D.C. Authorities say they found cash, cellphones and knives in the vehicles.

    Initially, he was charged with one count of murder for Savvas Savopoulos' death.

    Wednesday's indictment includes 11 additional counts of murder; four counts of kidnapping; and one count each of first-degree burglary, extortion, arson and first-degree theft.

    Savvas Savopoulos was the CEO of American Iron Works, a construction-materials supplier that played a role in rebuilding the Pentagon after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Wint once worked for the company as a welder.

    The murders, just blocks from the National Cathedral on a street lined with privacy fences and hidden cameras in one of D.C.'s wealthiest neighborhoods, stunned the city. The Savopoulos family was well-known there and in the community of their church, Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral.

    Savvas gave to charities for children's health; Amy was known as a go-to volunteer and for get-togethers she hosted for the neighborhood.

    The couple also had two daughters, who were away at boarding school at the time of the murders.

    Wint is scheduled for arraignment Friday.