A grand jury returned a 20-count indictment Wednesday against the suspect in the gruesome deaths of a couple, their young son and their housekeeper inside their multi-million-dollar Washington, D.C., mansion last May.
Darron Dellon Dennis Wint is charged with 20 felonies, including 12 counts of first-degree murder while armed, in the deaths of 46-year-old Savvas Savopoulos; his wife, Amy, 47; their 10-year-old son, Philip, and housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa, 57.
The murder charges include four counts each of felony murder in the course of a kidnapping, felony murder in the course of a burglary and felony premeditated murder.
The indictment describes the slayings as “especially heinous, atrocious and cruel,” and if a jury agrees, Wint faces life in prison without possibility for release on each murder charge. The minimum sentence is 30 years on each murder charge.
Telephone messages seeking comment left Wednesday evening with Wint’s lawyers were not immediately returned, the Associated Press said.
Wint, 35, of Lanham, Maryland, kidnapped the victims inside the Savopoulos home, extorted $40,000 from them, killed them and set fire to the $3 million house, the indictment says. He held the victims captive for roughly 18 hours May 13 and 14, police said.
Police previously said they believed Wint had help from others holding the Savopouloses captive, according to charging documents, but no other suspects have been identified. In a statement Wednesday, prosecutors said the investigation continues.
There is evidence that the victims were tied up and possibly tortured, and the weapons included a baseball bat, Samurai swords and an unknown sharp object, police said.
Savvas Savopoulos, Amy Savopoulos and Figueroa were beaten with a bat and stabbed with a sharp object, according to the indictment. Philip was stabbed and burned.
Police who investigated the scene said in court filings that Philip was found inside a bedroom, which was burned so badly, it was impossible to identify the boy.
Police also found a bloody baseball bat at the scene.
The amount of time the family may have been held can be traced through phone calls and texts from the Savopoulouses and their housekeepers.
A source close to the family detailed a call from Amy to Savvas on May 13, asking Savvas to come home. Police believe Amy, Philip and Figueroa were already being held at that time.
Hours later investigators believe Wint forced Savvas to make a call to another housekeeper, known as Neliy, to make sure she would not come to the house that day.
On a voicemail, Savvas is heard telling Neliy to stay home because Amy is home sick, Vera is staying with her and the couple is “going through some stuff with Philip.” He asks that Neliy send a text message to confirm the voicemail was received.
On the morning of May 14, a final text message was sent to Neliy from Amy’s phone. “I am making sure you do not come today,” the message said.
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SOURCE: NBC4 Washington