A Maryland man named Daron Wint was found guilty on Oct. 25, 2018 of the 2015 brutal quadruple murder of a prominent Washington D.C. family. After a headline-making trial, Wint was convicted of the first-degree murder of affluent businessman Savvas Savopoulos, his wife Amy Savopoulos, their 10-year-old son Philip and their housekeeper, Veralicia “Vera” Figueroa, on May 14, 2015, after he held them hostage for 19 hours and then brutally murdered them in their home.
On May 14, 2015, fire fighters found the four bound, tortured and murdered in the Savopoulos’ multimillion-dollar mansion in the Woodley Park neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
During the trial, prosecutors argued that Wint, a welder who had been fired from a company owned by Savopoulos, killed the family out of greed. Savvas was the CEO and president of American Iron Works, a construction company that had played a role in building the Verizon Center in Washington D.C.
Opening statements for the trial began on September 11, 2018. The trial lasted six weeks and more 60 witnesses were called by the prosecution.
During the trial, prosecutors claimed that on the morning of May 13, a desperate and destitute Wint broke into the Savopoulos’ home, where he first restrained Figueroa and 10-year-old Philip, who was home from school because he was sick, with duct tape and zip ties. Wint then restrained Amy when she returned to the mansion after she returned from getting coffee, according to the Washington Post.
Prosecutors then alleged that Wint, a welder who had been fired from a company owned by Savopoulos, made Amy call her husband to lure him home. The following day, the four were killed after Savvas’ assistant delivered $40,000 in cash to the couple’s home. According to the Post, the four were beaten with baseball hats, stabbed, and then had gasoline poured on them and set on fire.
During the trial, prosecutors said that after the murders, Wint, who had previously been arrested multiple times on charges of carrying concealed weapons, theft, harassment and violating an order of protection, had performed a series of Internet searches about how to beat a lie detector test, 10 hideout cities for fugitives, and five countries with no U.S. extradition treaty.
Ater after a leftover pizza crust inside the Savopoulos’ home was tested for DNA, Wint was quickly identified by police as the prime suspect and arrested. It was discovered that Wint had ordered food for delivery while the family was being held hostage. While prosecutors believe that Wint did not act alone, he was the only person who was arrested or tried for the murders.
During closing arguments, Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Bach told the jury, “He had no options left. He did this. He’s the one who killed these people. Now you hold him responsible. Hold him accountable for what he did.”
During the trial, Wint’s attorneys, Washington public defenders Judith Pipe and Jeffrey Stein, argued that he had nothing to do with the killings. Instead, pointing the finger at Wint’s brother Steffon Wint and half-brother Darrell, according to the Post. The defense lawyers also argued Steffon Wint murdered the family.
Wint testified in his own defense at the trial and while on the stand, argued he’d been inside the Savopoulos’ home to do drywall and paint, which was set up by his half-brother Darrell. Wint says he left after learning that Darrell wanted to burglarize the place. He also did admit that he ate a piece of pizza while he there.
After three days of deliberations in the D.C. Superior Court, the jury reached its unanimous decision.
“Today’s verdict holds Daron Wint accountable for the cold-blooded murders of four innocent people, including a 10-year-old child, in a senseless home invasion that ended with him setting fire to the crime scene,” said U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu in a press statement following the verdict. “We hope that the verdict will bring some comfort to the families of the victims.”
On Feb. 1, 2019, Wint was sentenced to four consecutive life-without-release terms.
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