WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The man accused of killing four people inside a Washington, D.C. mansion after holding them against their will for hours has pleaded not guilty to 20 felony charges.
Daron Wint appeared in a Washington, D.C. court for an arraignment Friday morning shackled and wearing an orange jumpsuit, his hair still in long braids.
An indictment returned Wednesday by a D.C. Superior Court grand jury included charges of first-degree murder while armed, burglary, kidnapping, extortion, arson, and theft, prosecutors say. He's accused of killing forty-six-year-old business executive Savvas Savopoulos; his 47-year-old wife, Amy; their 10-year-old son, Philip; and the family's housekeeper, Veralicia Figueroa in May of 2015.
The four were held captive inside the home for at least 18 hours while they arranged for $40,000 in cash to be dropped off at the home for their captors, authorities say. After the money was delivered, all four were killed, court documents said. Prosecutors say Wint, a welder who once worked for Savvas Savopoulos' company, then lit the home on fire.
Authorities were able to tie Wint to the murders after finding his DNA on pizza that was ordered to the house while the Savopoulos family and Figueroa were being held against their will, reported CBS affiliate WUSA9. Wint, 35, was captured in the D.C. area after investigators say they narrowly missed the suspect at his girlfriend's Brooklyn, N.Y. apartment during a multi-state manhunt.
The indictment includes 12 counts of first-degree murder while armed, prosecutors say, including four counts of first-degree murder while armed in the course of a kidnapping; four counts of first-degree murder while armed in the course of a burglary, and four counts of first-degree pre-meditated murder while armed. The indictment specifies "aggravating circumstances," including a finding that the murders were especially heinous, atrocious or cruel, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia.
Wint also faces one count each first-degree burglary, extortion, arson, and first-degree theft.
Authorities said in a previous court document that they believed the killings "required the presence and assistance of more than one person" but no one else has been charged. Prosecutors said in a statement Wednesday that the investigation into the murders is continuing.
Wint was initially charged in only the death of Savvas Savopoulos.
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.