Husband Was Strangled in DC Mansion Slayings, Prosecutors Say

The accused killer allegedly paid to hire an immigration lawyer after killings.

ByABC News
July 20, 2015, 1:00 PM

— -- A Washington, D.C., superior court judge ruled today there is probable cause to hold Daron Wint for first-degree felony murder in connection to the slayings of a prominent businessman and his family.

In a preliminary hearing for Wint, who is charged in the slayings of Savvas Savopoulos, his wife, Amy, his son and his housekeeper, prosecutors said today the husband died by strangulation, in addition to blunt-force trauma.

Veralicia Figueroa, the housekeeper, was also strangled, prosecutors said, while a detective testified that Wint paid to hire an immigration lawyer after the slayings.

Prosecutors also revealed for the first time that accused killer Wint’s DNA was found on a green construction vest police found in the burned-out Porsche that was taken from the Savopoulos home and left in a Maryland church parking lot May 14, the day of the killings.

Previously filed court documents linked Wint to the scene of the incident through his DNA, which police said was found on a pizza crust in the Savopoulos’ D.C. home where the alleged murders took place.

Upon being arrested, prosecutors say Wint had a receipt for $1,100 that he had apparently paid to an immigration attorney as a retainer. That receipt was dated May 16, two days after the slayings.

PHOTO: Savvas and Amy Savopoulos at the Starlight Children’s Foundation MidAtlantic’s Wine Dinner in 2008.
Savvas and Amy Savopoulos at the Starlight Children’s Foundation MidAtlantic’s Wine Dinner in 2008.

The preliminary hearing for Wint had been previously delayed because of changes in his legal representation. He is now being represented by a D.C. public defender. Wint has been charged with first-degree murder while armed, but has not yet entered a plea.

Public defender Arthur Ago cross-examined lead Det. Jeffrey Owens of the Metropolitan Police Department and attempted to raise suspicions about Jordan Wallace, the driver who worked for Savopoulos. Police say Wallace picked up $40,000 in cash from a bank and was directed to deliver it to the Savopoulos home on the morning of the killings.

Under cross-examination, Owens was asked about the contents of Wallace’s backpack found in his car on the day of the killings. Owns testified the backpack contained a checkbook, a passport and the vehicle registration for an exotic Mosler sports car. That information had been previously described in court filings.

Ago also requested that a surveillance video image be shown to the court. The image came from the Bank of America where $40,000 in cash was withdrawn. In the photo, an American Ironworks employee is seen withdrawing the money with Wallace in the background.

The defense pointed out that the money was withdrawn in four stacks of $100 bills, totaling $10,000 for each stack. Wallace sent a photo of the money to his girlfriend, but that photo depicted only two stacks of cash. Owens acknowledged that Wallace is the only person who could say whether all four stacks of cash delivered to the house.

Wallace has not been charged in the case.