WASHINGTON - There was a major development for the man charged with the murders of the Savopoulos family and their housekeeper more than three years ago.
At a preliminary hearing held Friday morning, Daron Wint's lawyers received approval from Judge Juliet McKenna to proceed with their theory that another suspect killed Savvas and Amy Savopoulos, their son, Philip, and the family’s housekeeper, Vera Figueroa, inside their Northwest D.C. home in May 2015.
This is considered a big win for Wint's lawyers as there appears to be possible evidence to cast doubt on the guilt of their client. Up until now, prosecutors have been presenting Wint as the only suspect in the killings. However, there has always been a question of whether or not he could have held the family hostage and murdered them on his own.
Criminal defense attorney David Benowitz of Price Benowitz, LLP, who is not involved in this case, said the new information is significant.
“The defense may be able to show either through evidence they put on themselves or through cross examination of government witnesses that this other suspect was the person who played the role of the actual killer in this case,” he said.
The prosecution wanted the judge to compel the defense to share details of the defense's theory. According to a source with knowledge of the case, the defense asked to present that information only to the judge.
“The defense doesn’t have to definitively prove that Mr. Wint was not the perpetrator here,” said Benowitz. “The defense merely has to raise reasonable doubt that Mr. Wint was the person who committed the murders here, and the evidence of the other suspect may go a long way towards doing that.”
FOX 5 reached out to D.C. police if they have this same evidence that points to another possible killer or if they still believe Wint is only suspect, but they have declined to comment because this is an ongoing case.
Another hearing in this murder case is scheduled to be held in a few weeks and Wint’s trial is set to begin on Sept. 5.
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