A judge ruled Friday evidence exists that could prove there is a second suspect in the slayings of four people found dead in a northwest D.C. mansion.
For more than three years, Daron Wint has been the only suspect accused of killing Savvas Savopoulos, 46; his wife, Amy, 47; their 10-year-old son, Philip, and housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa, 57, who were found dead inside the Savopoulos family's multimillion-dollar home in May 2015.
Wint's defense presented the judge with evidence suggesting someone else killed them.
The judge said the evidence already exists in what the prosecution collected and the defense doesn't have to explain the evidence to the prosecution prior to the trial.
"It's evidence that the government turned over in the course of discovery, so they think it’s reliable to some extent," legal expert Bernard Grimm said. "They just didn’t believe it was enough to charge that person because they had Wint."
He said Friday's ruling is a turning point in the case.
"The government not only needs to prove that Wint is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt but that the other guy didn’t do it beyond a reasonable doubt," Grimm said.
Wint, of Lanham, Maryland, kidnapped the victims inside their home, extorted $40,000 from them, killed them and set fire to the $3 million house, according to police. He allegedly held the victims captive for roughly 18 hours.
The prosecution said it has tested hundreds of items found in the Savopoulos home, and DNA linked Wint to five items.
Wint pleaded not guilty to 20 felony charges in the brutal crime. 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.
Wint faces life in prison without possibility for release on each murder charge. The minimum sentence is 30 years on each murder charge.
Jury selection begins Sept. 5. The trial could last up to two months.