WASHINGTON - In D.C. Superior Court on Tuesday, a jury of nine men and seven woman will finally hear the evidence against the man accused of killing three members of a wealthy D.C. family and their housekeeper more than three years ago.
Savvas Savopoulos, his wife Amy, their son Philip and the family’s housekeeper, Vera Figueroa, were found beaten, strangled and stabbed to death inside the family's Northwest D.C. mansion in May 2015.
Starting at 10 a.m. Tuesday, a veil may be lifted on many of the baffling questions in this troubling case.
Prosecutors will lay out their case in an opening statement telling jurors their theory on how the suspect, Daron Wint, got to the Savopoulos’ house and what happened over the next 14 hours before the house was set on fire.
The defense will then have its turn at convincing the jury that Wint is not guilty. They have already informed the court it has evidence someone else was involved.
Prosecutors do not have to provide a motive – all they have to do is prove Wint was behind one of the more vicious killings in the history of D.C. crime. But will they go there? It is the one question many people who have been fascinated with this case would like to know. If Wint is found guilty – why did he go to the Savopoulos’ mansion on Woodland Drive that night? Was it for revenge?
Wint at one time worked at American Iron Works in Maryland, the company Savvas Savopoulos owned along with his father.
From the beginning, investigators have said they thought others were involved, but Wint has been the only person arrested in this case.
Will the jury hear from Jordan Wallace? He is a Savopoulos personal assistant who delivered the ransom to Savopoulos' house the day of the murders. He has never spoken publicly, but initially lied to the police.
Prosecutors do not have to tell the defense who they are calling. Will Wallace be a surprise witness? Defense attorney David Benowitz, of Price Benowitz, LLP, who is not involved in the case, said Wint’s defense team must present their theory and then stick to it.
"If you have a theme, whether it’s someone else did this, whether it's the DNA evidence is not accurate – whatever your theme is, you have to keep coming back to it,” said Benowitz. “Because I think during an eight-week trial, it’s just difficult for jurors who have never heard the evidence before and they are only going to get one shot to hear it in a lot of situations. It's important to keep them focused on what your point is.”
Prosecutors have already revealed Wint’s DNA was found on a pizza crust inside the Savapoulos’ house as well as on other items, including a neon green vest discovered inside the family's Porsche that was stolen from the home and set on fire in Maryland.
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