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Sunday, February 25, 2024 | Back issues
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Mansion Murders Suspect Arraigned in D.C.

WASHINGTON (CN) - The man charged with kidnapping and murdering three members of a wealthy Washington family and their housekeeper appeared for arraignment Friday, his first court appearance since a grand jury handed down his indictment.

Daron Wint, 35, who was dressed in an orange jumpsuit and wore shoulder-length dreadlocks, stared at the defense table in front of him as the clerk in a Washington, D.C., Superior Court courtroom read 20 felony charges against him, including first-degree murder, kidnapping, extortion and arson.

Wint pleaded not guilty to all counts through his attorney, Natalie Lawson.

If convicted, Wint could face life in prison for each of the 12 murder charges.

Prosecutors at Friday's arraignment told Judge Jose Lopez they had filed life papers in the case, allowing them to pursue such charges.

According to the indictment, which was handed down Wednesday, Wint entered former American Ironworks CEO Savvas Savopoulos's home in Northwest Washington sometime on May 13 or 14, 2015, and held Savvas, his wife Amy, their 10-year-old son Philip and housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa hostage before killing them and setting the house ablaze.

Wint held the family as Savopoulos's personal driver dropped $40,000 in cash on the seat of a sports car parked in the garage, prosecutors say.

On May 14, after holding them hostage overnight, Wint allegedly killed Savvas, Amy and Figueroa by beating them with a bat and stabbing them with a sharp object, according to the indictment. Prosecutors say he also killed Philip by stabbing him and setting him on fire.

Amy ordered pizza during the hostage situation and asked the Domino's driver to leave the pizza at the door because she was caring for a sick family member, according to the affidavit in support of his arrest.

Authorities responding to the fire at the house found uneaten pizza crust on the scene, which had DNA that matched Wint's profile in an FBI database, prosecutors say.

Authorities responding to the scene also noticed Amy's blue Porsche was missing from the house, according to the affidavit. A witness reported seeing the car, with a black man with short hair behind the wheel, driving erratically down Washington's New York Avenue shortly after the fire.

Police later found the car burning behind a building in New Carrolton, Md., along with a reflective vest that also matched Wint's DNA.

Wint was arrested on May 21 of last year and charged with first-degree murder while armed for Savopoulos's death. Prosecutors originally indicated a second person might be involved in the murders, but no other charges have been filed in the case.

Wint is due back in court on May 20 for a status hearing.

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