Quadruple Murder Case Suspect Appears in Court

     WASHINGTON (CN) – DNA is all over the scene of a brutal D.C. home invasion that ended with the murders of a wealthy family and their housekeeper, a detective testified Monday.
     The probable-cause hearing comes two months after firemen found Savvas, Amy and Philip Savopoulos unresponsive, along with their housekeeper Veraltisa Figugroa, in the family’s burning northwest Washington home on May 14.
     Prosecutors say Daron Wint, 34, held the family captive overnight, robbed them, eventually killed them and then set the house on fire.
     An autopsy determined Savvas Savopoulos, who had been CEO of American Ironworks, of blunt-force trauma and strangulation.
     Amy and Figueroa met similar fates while son Philip succumbed to “thermal and sharp force injuries,” according to the arrest affidavit.
     In asking Judge Rhonda Reid Winston to find probable cause in the case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura presented a police report that says DNA from the uneaten crust of a pizza in the Savopoulos home is a match for Wint’s profile in an FBI database.
     “What we have is forensic evidence that puts Mr. Wint in the house while these individuals were being held captive,” Bach said.
     Detective Jeff Owens also testified that police spoke to a pizza-delivery driver who brought two pizzas Amy ordered to the Savopoulos home on the night of May 13.
     The driver said Amy asked him to leave the pizzas at the door because she was caring for her sick child, according to the arrest affidavit.
     Police also found a DNA profile similar to Wint’s on a green reflective construction vest in Amy’s blue Porsche, which was found burning in New Carrolton, Md., the night of May 14, according to the arrest affidavit.
     Technicians have not completed statistical analysis, however, to determine how rare the DNA profile recovered from the pizza or the vest would be in the population, Owens said.
     As such the evidence does not necessarily guarantee a conclusive match.
     Owens also told the court about instructions Savvas Savopoulos’ personal driver allegedly received about delivering a package the night before the fire.
     It has since been found that the package later learned contained $40,000 in cash.
     Owens said the driver changed his story multiple times during police questioning, but originally claimed that Savopoulos had sent a text message that instructed him to pick up a package from an employee of American Ironworks, take it to the Savopoulos house and place it in the unlocked red sports car in the Savopoulos’ open garage.
     Wint’s attorney Arthur Ago seized upon the driver’s inconsistencies in a lengthy cross-examination.
     Ago had Owens concede that police found the registration to Savvas Savopoulos’ red Mozler, which Owens’ said cost as much as $300,000, in the driver’s car along with the driver’s passport and checkbook.
     Later Owens testified that the driver regularly ran errands for Savvas Savopoulos, including bringing cars in for inspections and other repairs.
     When police arrested Wint he was in a small compact car with three other people and $10,000 in money orders. A truck was traveling with the car as well, and police recovered an additional $20,000 in cash and money orders from the passenger side of the car, Owens testified.
     The man closest to the cash in the car said the passenger in the truck told him to purchase the money orders, while the passenger in the truck said Wint gave him the $13,000 for them, Owens testified.
     Police also found a bag belonging to Wint containing a paper that described a retainer for a law firm that had been paid fully in cash, Owens testified.
     Winston set a felony status conference for Sept. 25 and ordered Wint held.

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