Suspect Said He Planned to Rob Couple, Court Told

Peiro Fuentes Hernandez is accused of killing a couple in Chevy Chase.
Peiro Fuentes Hernandez is accused of killing a couple in Chevy Chase. (By William J. Hennessy Jr. For The Washington Post)
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By Michael E. Ruane
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 27, 2008

The man accused of killing a Northwest Washington couple last weekend has told investigators that he went to their home to rob them, tied one of the victims with a telephone cord and stole computer equipment from their house, according to a criminal complaint filed yesterday in D.C. Superior Court.

Peiro Fuentes Hernandez, 21, also told investigators that he was armed with a metal baton-type weapon during the incident and that he stole the victims' car. He said he bought a can of gasoline and used it to set the car afire in an attempt to destroy evidence, according to the complaint.

Hernandez, who was said in court to be a refugee from El Salvador after Hurricane Mitch in 1998, also told police that he was a member of the MC Gang, known as Master Criminals, an affiliate of STC, or Street Thug Criminals, the document said.

Hernandez, of the 1000 block of Cypress Tree Place in Capitol Heights, was held without bail after his court appearance yesterday in the deaths of Michael Spevak, 68, a psychiatrist, and his wife, Virginia, 67, a former teacher. The couple were found dead Saturday night in their home in the 5300 block of Belt Road NW.

The charging papers make no mention of accomplices, and police officials have declined to say whether they believe others joined in the crime. The papers do not say whether Hernandez knew the couple or how he came to allegedly target their house. Officials have said that the residence was not selected at random but have given no explanation for that statement.

Despite defense objections, Magistrate Judge Milton C. Lee Jr. ordered that blood, hair and saliva samples be taken for DNA testing. He set a follow-up hearing for Jan. 9.

Hernandez, a diminutive but stocky man with dark hair, a thin mustache and chin beard, said little as he stood in court yesterday wearing a white prison jumpsuit, gray booties and leg shackles. When asked his name, he replied, "Peiro Fuentes."

The criminal complaint painted a grisly scene.

The body of Virginia Spevak was found in a sitting position on a couch in a walkway between the home's kitchen and family room. She had been tied with a telephone cord, the document said. Her husband's body was found on the floor in the family room. On a couch near his body, detectives found a knotted telephone cord that appeared to have been used to tie him. Both victims were wearing night clothes.

The complaint said there was a large amount of blood at the scene with what appeared to be tennis shoe imprints.

Both victims had died from sharp blunt force trauma to the head and neck inflicted by a bladed weapon, according to the charging documents.

Detectives found that in addition to the couple's blue 2005 Toyota Scion, their three computers, two cellphones and a personal digital device were missing.

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