Darron Dellon Dennis Wint was arrested for the deaths in the Savopoulos family
He once tried to join the Marines, worked for Savvas Savopoulos' company
Wint has been charged on multiple occasions, convicted 3 times in New York
He’s a once-aspiring Marine with a history of run-ins with the law. A one-time community college student convicted three times in New York, including for second-degree assault. A former American Iron Works worker now charged with murder in the death of the man who led that company – Savvas Savopoulos – and his family.
Meet Darron Dellon Dennis Wint.
His former lawyer, Robin Ficker, told CNN’s “New Day” on Friday that the 34-year-old Wint is “nonaggressive person,” the type you wouldn’t mind having lunch with your grandmother.
That description bears no resemblance to a crime one source said included torture in the murders of Savopoulos, his wife, Amy, his 10-year-old son Philip and the family’s housekeeper, Veralicia Figueroa.
While authorities haven’t ruled out others being involved, authorities have identified only one person, Wint, as being a suspect in the killing of these four people.
It’s believed all the victims died before a May 14 fire consumed the Savopouloses’ $4.5 million mansion in a tony Washington neighborhood near Embassy Row, according to a source familiar with the investigation. They were bound with duct tape and suffered blunt force trauma. There were signs, the source said, that even 10-year-old Philip was stabbed and tortured.
Is Wint capable of such savagery? That might be something for a jury to decide.
Until then, one can trace some key milestones in his life.
Charged on several occasions, convicted at least 3 times
In 2001, when he was in his early 20s, Wint went to Marine Corps recruit training. It’s not clear why, but he left before finishing – though his former lawyer, Ficker, did describe him as “patriotic.”
A lot transpired after that. Ficker talked about Wint attending Prince George’s Community College in Maryland, just outside Washington. He had what’s believed to be a girlfriend in Brooklyn, according to two law enforcement sources involved in the investigation. In fact, Wint went up to New York and saw her after the Savopoulos fire and before authorities were able to track him first to a Howard Johnson hotel in College Park, Maryland, before stopping and arresting him late Thursday about 5 miles away in northeast Washington.
Most of what’s known publicly about Wint over the past two decades comes from court documents.
Those court records reveal three convictions in New York, one in 2009 for second-degree assault. A restraining order was sought against him in 2005 (but, based on Ficker’s recollections, never granted) and he faced assault, sex offense, burglary and property destruction charges in the subsequent years.
Ficker said he represented Wint in six cases, none of which ended in guilty verdicts. (Ficker added that he’d be willing to help again this time around, but hasn’t been asked.) The Darron Wint he knows, from what he described as hours sitting across each other working on cases, was “kind and gentle.” That impression leaves Ficker convinced authorities have “the wrong guy” in the Savopoulos case.
“He was not a mean, aggressive person at all,” the lawyer told “New Day.”
“He was a young man finding his way. … They’ve made a big mistake here.”
Neighbor: I feel for Wint’s parents, it’s ‘not their fault’
But if Wint is innocent, why would his purported girlfriend in Brooklyn say he was planning to turn himself in – indicating he knew authorities were looking for him – and then bolt for the Washington area instead, according to sources? And what about the fact that sources said law enforcement found $10,000 in cash with Wint when they arrested him? And why would the vehicle he was in do “a strange U-turn” near Washington, according to Cmdr. Robert Fernandez with the U.S. Marshals Service?
There’s also the fact Wint’s DNA was found on pizza crust inside the Savopoulos mansion, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation. This was after the delivery of two Domino’s pizzas there. The cash to pay for the pizza was allegedly left in an envelope on the porch.
And the past allegations against Wint, even if they didn’t lead to convictions, cannot necessarily be discounted.
In a 2010 case that led to burglary and property destruction charges, a detective wrote in a charge document that Wint threatened to kill a woman and her 2-year-old daughter, busted the windshield and rear window of the woman’s Honda Accord and stole her 42-inch television.
That case was resolved when Wint pleaded guilty to malicious destruction of property over $500, after which he was sentenced to 60 days (with credit given for 32 days), put on supervised probation for two years and ordered to pay $145 in court costs, according to a court document.
Whatever his involvement in the Savopoulos case, a neighbor said she feels for Wint’s parents.
“I feel very sad for them, for the pain they’re going through, which is not their fault,” said Devera Zianal. “Whatever happened, if he is guilty, he had choices. I know he was not raised this way.”
CNN’s Mary Kay Mallonee, Pamela Brown and Joe Johns contributed to this report.