WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A man charged in the deaths of a wealthy Washington businessman, his wife, son and housekeeper was arraigned on Friday and ordered held without bond.
Daron Wint, 34, of Lanham, Maryland, is accused of holding construction business owner Savvas Savopoulos and the others captive until he got $40,000 in cash, then killing them and setting fire to their mansion, according to court documents.
Wint, who faces a charge of first-degree murder, was arrested late on Thursday in the U.S. capital. Acting U.S. Attorney Vincent Cohen Jr. said he was being held without bond.
A preliminary hearing was set for June 23.
“We will continue to investigate this case and bring all charges that are appropriate in the coming weeks,” he told reporters outside District of Columbia Superior Court.
Wint was wanted in the deaths of Savopoulos, who owned a construction materials company; his wife, Amy, 47; son Phillip, 10; and housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa, 57.
A court affidavit said that the crime needed more than one person to have been carried out.
When he was arrested, Wint was a passenger in a car that was traveling alongside a truck. Police also arrested three men and two women in the vehicles. Police Chief Cathy Lanier later told CNN they had been released.
The bodies were found on May 14 inside the Savopoulos mansion in an upscale neighborhood near the official residence of Vice President Joseph Biden. The house had been set on fire.
The affidavit said Savopoulos, his wife and Figueroa died from being struck and stabbed. Phillip died from “thermal and sharp force injuries,” it said.
The four were held captive on the evening of May 13. Savopoulos had an aide deliver $40,000 in cash to the house the next day, the court document said.
Police found more than $10,000 in money orders in Wint’s car and a stack of $100 bills and more money orders in the truck, the document said. Police have said Wint had worked for Savopoulos’ company, American Iron Works.
Police identified Wint from DNA found on the crust of a pizza that had been delivered to the house late on May 13, the affidavit said.
During the arraignment, defense attorney Natalie Lawson said the government’s case was “based on speculation and guesswork.”
Prosecutor Emily Miller said: “Simply put, the defendant’s DNA was on pizza left in a room with three dead adults.”
Additional reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Doina Chiacu