Grand Jury Returns 20-Count Indictment Charging Darron Wint In Murders of Four People During Home Invasion
Charges Include First-Degree Murder While Armed, Arson, Other Offenses
WASHINGTON – An indictment was returned today charging Darron Dellon Dennis Wint with a total of 20 felony charges, including first-degree murder while armed, burglary, kidnapping, extortion, arson, and theft, in the slayings last May of Savvas Savopoulos, his wife, Amy Savopoulos, their son, Philip Savopoulos, and a household employee, Veralicia Figueroa.
The indictment, returned by a grand jury in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, was announced by U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Wint, 35, of Lanham, Md., also known as Daron Dylon Wint, was charged with crimes that took place May 13 and May 14, 2015, during a home invasion of the Savopoulos family residence in Northwest Washington. He is to be arraigned on the charges on Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, at a hearing before the Honorable José M. López.
According to the indictment, Wint entered the Savopoulos home, seized and kidnapped the four victims, stole $40,000 through means of extortion, murdered the victims, and set fire to the house. After responding to reports of the fire, authorities discovered the bodies of Savvas Savopoulos, 46, Amy Savopoulos, 47, Philip Savopoulos, 10, and Veralicia Figueroa, 57.
Wint was indicted on a total of 12 counts of first-degree murder while armed, all with aggravating circumstances. The charges include four counts of first-degree murder while armed (felony murder) in the course of a kidnapping; four counts of first-degree murder while armed (felony murder) in the course of a burglary, and four counts of first-degree premeditated murder while armed. In addition, the grand jury indicted Wint on four counts of kidnapping and one count each of first-degree burglary, extortion, arson, and first-degree theft.
In addition to the various substantive crimes specified in the indictment, the indictment charges Wint with specified “aggravating circumstances,” including one finding that the murders were especially heinous, atrocious or cruel. If these are found by a jury at trial, Wint could face a maximum of life imprisonment without the possibility of release on each of the 12 murder charges. Each of the murder charges carries a mandatory minimum prison term of 30 years.
Additionally, each of the kidnapping counts involving the three adult victims carries a maximum sentence of 30 years; the kidnapping count involving Philip Savopoulos carries up to 45 years. First-degree burglary also carries a 30-year maximum prison sentence, and arson, extortion, and first-degree theft have maximum prison terms of 10 years each.
Wint was arrested May 21, 2015 and has been in custody ever since. He initially was charged with one count of first-degree murder while armed in the death of Savvas Savopoulos.
The investigation into the murders is continuing.
An indictment is merely a formal allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal laws and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.
In announcing the indictment, U.S. Attorney Phillips and Chief Lanier praised the efforts of those who have investigated the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. They also expressed appreciation for the work of the many other agencies that have provided assistance, including the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Secret Service, the District of Columbia Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services, the Prince George’s County, Md., Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services, and the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences.
They commended the work of those who are handling the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Victim/Witness Advocate Marcia Rinker and Paralegal Specialists Kendra Johnson and Meridith McGarrity. Finally, they acknowledged the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Laura R. Bach and Emily A. Miller, who are investigating and prosecuting the case.