WASHINGTON - The man arrested in connection to the brutal quadruple murder that took place inside a northwest D.C. mansion last year was indicted Wednesday afternoon.
Darron Wint was indicted by a grand jury on 20 felony charges that include first-degree murder while armed, burglary, kidnapping, extortion, arson and theft in the deaths of Savvas and Amy Savopoulos, their son Philip, and their housekeeper, Veralicia Figueroa—all of whom were found killed inside the family’s home on Woodland Drive last year.
No one else was named in the indictment.
On May 14, 2015, firefighters were called to the home where Savvas Savopoulos, his wife Amy, and 10-year-old son lived, just blocks away from Washington National Cathedral and the home of the vice president. Flames and smoke were shooting out a second-floor window of the brick mansion that sits nestled between other million dollar homes and embassies.
Flames and smoke were shooting from a second-story window, and inside, the bodies of Savvas, Amy and Philip Savopoulos, and their housekeeper, Vera Figueroa, were found. All of them had been tortured and killed before the multi-million dollar home was set ablaze.
The three adults were found in one bedroom, and in the next room over, the boy’s body was discovered—but it was so badly charred on the bed’s mattress that it was initially unrecognizable. Police had said they believe the family was held against their will for more nearly 20 hours inside the home.
Wint was arrested in the case, but few details had been released about what really happened, or a motive.
The Savopoulos left behind two daughters, who were both away at boarding school when their family was murdered.
According to the indictment, Wint entered the Savopoulos' home and kidnapped the four victims. He extorted them by stealing $40,000, then murdered them and set fire to the house.
Wint is facing 20 felony charges that include:
- 4 counts of first-degree murder while armed in the course of a kidnapping
- 4 counts of first-degree murder while armed in the course of a burglary
- 4 four counts of first-degree premeditated murder while armed
- 4 counts of kidnapping
- 1 count of first-degree burglary
- 1 count of extortion
- 1 count of arson
- 1 count of first-degree theft
MANY QUESTIONS, FEW ANSWERS
Court documents showed that among the evidence recovered was a baseball bat, which appeared to be covered in blood and was discovered in the room where Amy Savopoulos and Vera Figueroa had been tied up.
Savvas Savopoulos left a voicemail that evening for another housekeeper who was not working that night.
“It’s Savvas. I hope you get this message. Amy is in bed sick tonight and she was sick this afternoon and Vera offered to stay and help her out, so she’s going to stay the night here,” said Savopoulos in the phone message.
The adults were killed by blunt and sharp force trauma. The child was burned and stabbed to death.
ATF assisted D.C. police in scouring the burned remains of the home for evidence. But before a lab could turn around results, Amy Savopoulos’ blue Porsche was found miles from the house set ablaze. Inside the car was a neon lime green construction vest -- like several other vests recovered in the mansion’s garage.
Witnesses told police they saw a black man with short well-groomed hair wearing the vest driving the Porsche erratically towards Maryland. Minutes after the car was found burning, surveillance video from a nearby banquet hall showed a man in a dark hoodie carrying what appears to be a white bucket.
And among the evidence found at the home was a boot print on a side French door. It is inconsistent with that of any of the first responders’ prints. Was it a sign of forced entry? And who got inside?
Amy Savopoulos called a nearby Domino’s Pizza restaurant that night nearly three hours after being held hostage. She paid over the phone with a credit card and said she was nursing her sick child. Her order was to leave the pizzas on the front porch, ring the doorbell and leave.
The next morning, she made sure another person would never make it inside -- a second housekeeper. She sent a text message telling her not to come into work at the home that day.
At about the same time, 28-year-old Jordan Wallace, an assistant to Savvas Savopoulos, was en route to drop $40,000 his boss had asked him to place in a manila envelope and then drop inside a car parked in the home’s garage. Wallace told detectives several different versions of events.
WINT CONNECTED TO CRIME SCENE
Two days after the fire, police turned to results on the crust left behind from one of the pizzas. Saliva on a half-eaten pepperoni pizza crust linked investigators to Savvas Savopoulos’ former employee, Daron Wint.
But could Wint have killed four people, held them hostage for as many hours as he did, go all the way to Prince George’s County to burn a car, then flee the state -- all by himself? Wint’s former defense and immigration attorney, Sean Hanover, who for nearly a month represented the Guyana citizen, told FOX 5, “There were definitely other people there.”
Savvas Savopoulos owned American Iron Works, and he was gearing up to open a martial arts gym in Chantilly, Virginia the night before the murders occurred. He was a wealthy business man who Hanover believes had powerful enemies likely behind the brutal deaths.
“The police don’t want to foreclose the rest of their investigation because they’re still investigating that too, and they’re afraid that if they do that, they’re going to jump too fast, too soon and close it down on people that might otherwise lead them back to the bigger fish,” said Hanover back in November.
WINT IN CUSTODY
Wint was wanted and he fled the D.C. area after the murders. He had an already extensive criminal record. He had a conviction for assaulting a girlfriend and a guilty plea for destruction of property after threatening to kill a woman and her child. He was arrested back in 2010 outside American Iron Works for carrying a machete and BB gun.
After a two-day manhunt that spanned the eastern seaboard to New York City and then back to a Prince George’s County motel in Maryland, Wint and others were riding in a rental car and box truck that were intercepted crossing into Washington D.C. by U.S. Marshals.
Stacks of hundred dollar bills along with money orders that totaled $10,000 were found in the vehicles. Every one that night was arrested and then let go with the exception of Wint, who was charged with the murders.