Daron Wint was convicted of multiple counts of first-degree murder, kidnapping, burglary, extortion, theft and arson
A Maryland man was found guilty Thursday of the 2015 brutal quadruple murder of a prominent Washington D.C. family and their housekeeper, PEOPLE confirms.
Daron Wint, 37, was convicted of multiple counts of first-degree murder while armed as well as kidnapping, burglary, extortion, theft and arson in the savage killings of 46-year-old businessman Savvas Savopoulos, his wife Amy Savopoulos, 47, their son, Philip, 10, and the family’s 57-year-old housekeeper Veralicia “Vera” Figueroa.
The four were found bound, tortured and murdered in the Savopoulos’ multimillion-dollar Washington, D.C., mansion on May 14. Prosecutors alleged that Wint, who had previously worked at Savvas’ business American Iron Works, was hopelessly broke and killed the family and housekeeper out of greed.
The verdict came on the third day of deliberations in D.C. Superior Court after nearly six weeks of testimony where prosecutors called more than 60 witnesses.
“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 obtained by PEOPLE. “We hope that the verdict will bring some comfort to the families of the victims.”
During the trial, prosecutors said that on the morning of May 13 a desperate Wint broke into the Savopoulos’ home, and first restrained Figueroa and 10-year-old Philip, who had stayed home from school because he was sick, and then Amy when she returned home from getting coffee, according to the Washington Post.
Prosecutors alleged that once captive Wint made Amy call her husband and lure him home. The four were killed the following day shortly after $40,000 in cash was delivered to their home in the upscale Woodley Park neighborhood by Savvas’ assistant. According to the Post, they were beaten with baseball hats, stabbed, and then had gasoline poured over their bodies and set on fire.
“He had no options left,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Bach told the jury during closing arguments, according to the Post. “He did this. He’s the one who killed these people. Now you hold him responsible. Hold him accountable for what he did.”
After the killing, Wint, who had been arrested multiple times on charges including carrying concealed weapons, theft, harassment and violating an order of protection, 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, prosecutors said.
Wint was arrested on May 21, 2015 after investigators found his DNA on a pizza crust inside the Savopoulos’ home which he ordered food for delivery while the family was being held captive.
During the trial, Wint’s public defenders Judith Pipe and Jeffrey Stein argued that he had nothing to do with the slayings and placed blame on Wint’s brother and half-brother for the deaths, according to the Post.
Wint, who testified in his own defense, argued that he had been at the Savopoulos’ home for a dry-wall and paint job set up by his half-brother Darrell but left when he learned that Darrell wanted to burglarize the place, the Post reports. He said he ate a piece of pizza while he was there, the paper reports.
The defense tried to argue it was his other brother Steffon Wint who murdered the family.
At the time of the slayings, Savvas and Amy Savopoulos had three children: Abigail, 19, Katerina, 16, and Philip, 10.
In a touching tribute published in the Washington Post, Savvas was remembered for his love of martial arts, which led him to build a Japanese-style center dedicated to the teaching of his lifelong passion. “This center, that recently opened, has about 2,000 square feet of mat space, two libraries, a kitchen, sleeping quarters and other amenities where live-in students can excel in their pursuit of the martial arts,” read the obituary.
Savvas was also “a world traveler, a prolific photographer, and a skilled powerboat enthusiast.”
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Meanwhile, Amy grew up in a military family “learning to be a citizen of the world and gaining important values that were reflected in her remarkable life as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, neighbor as well as an engaged community member.”
She was a devoted wife to Savopoulos, according to the obit, which read: “This love was represented in their daughters Abigail, and Katerina, and their son Philip.
An active volunteer at her children’s school, she was “known for her giving and selfless nature.”
At just 10, Philip knew he wanted to be a race car driver. “Philip’s true passion was racing and going fast. He aspired to be a professional Formula-1 racecar driver and was a member on the Praga North America Karting racing team,” the obit read.
Figueroa, who was originally from El Salvador, was described by friends and family as dedicated to her children.
According to a GoFundMe page set up to raise money for her funeral, Figueroa had planned on retiring as a housekeeper the following year.
The Savopoulos were also very extremely close-knit.
“Savvas was very involved with the kids,” Manny Hodak, a fraternity brother of Savvas who later worked with him at American Iron Works previously told PEOPLE. “Very hands-on. He lived for his kids. The girls are very sweet and fun-loving. Philip was a very bright kid. He had a wonderful smile.”
“They were both driven by their kids and their family unit,” family friend Jami Fireman told PEOPLE. “It was a top priority for them. They were a big part of the community and always willing to help.”
Wint is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 1, 2019. He faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. Wint’s public defender Judith Pipe declined to comment on the verdict.