The estranged husband of a missing Connecticut mother-of-five has pleaded not guilty to charges in connection with her disappearance and is expected to post $500,000 bond later today.
Fotis Dulos, 51, was arrested two weeks ago and charged with tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution after his wife, Jennifer Dulos, vanished on May 24.
He has since hired Alex Jones’ lawyer, Norm Pattis, who has claimed that there is ‘no evidence’ to prove his client was involved in ‘foul play’ despite State’s Attorney Richard Colangelo Jr revealing that investigators found Fotis’ DNA mixed with his wife’s blood on a faucet in the kitchen of her New Canaan home.
On Tuesday, both Fotis and his socialite girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, 44, pleaded not guilty to charges of tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution.
Pattis asked for his client’s bond to be reduced to $100,000 and said he is not a flight risk. The state requested that Dulos’ bond be increased to $850,000.
Judge John Blawie denied both requests, ruling that the bond would stay at $500,000. Pattis said his client will be posting $500,000 by the end of the day.
The judge also asked that Dulos remain in Connecticut, surrender his passport and be fitted with a GPS monitoring device. He set the next court date for August 2.
Pattis said: ‘There’s enormous public interest in the case. Mr Dulos is being tried and convicted in the court of public opinion of a crime he has not yet been charged with.
‘What we know is that Jennifer went missing…We have been able to account for Mr Dulos’ movement for all of that time.’
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Fotis Dulos (left), the estranged husband of missing Connecticut mother, Jennifer Dulos (right), has pleaded not guilty to charges in connection with her disappearance. Fotis was arrested two weeks ago and charged with tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution
On Tuesday, both Fotis and his socialite girlfriend, Michelle Troconis (pictured, entering court), 44, pleaded not guilty to charges of tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution
Troconis (pictured) appeared in court on Tuesday just before Fotis. She pleaded not guilty to all of the charges. She was dressed in grey slacks with a light blue blouse and a grey cardigan. Her GPS ankle monitor was not visible
Pattis said that the prosecution has been ‘fueling speculation that there’s a dismembered body’.
He called the prosecution’s theory ‘ludicrous’.
‘There is no body we are aware and I’m sick of hearing about it…my client is entitled to the presumption of innocence. ‘We don’t know where Jennifer is,’ Pattis said in court.
Pattis also noted that, at the time of Jennifer Dulos’ disappearance, the custody case was moving in his client’s favor, adding that the court had made ‘adverse findings about Jennifer’s mental health’ which he did not want to put on the record at this time’.
According to Pattis, Troconis’ lawyer, Andrew Bowman, won’t speak with him about what she told State’s Attorney Richard Colangelo.
Colangelo asked for the defendant’s bond to be increased because the case is ‘fluid’.
He told the court that the ‘lab was able to confirm that the defendant’s DNA was found in a mixture with the victim’s blood on the faucet in Jennifer’s kitchen’.
Pattis admitted that his client was at Jennifer Dulos’ home days earlier which would account for his DNA.
Colangelo added that Dulos was at the home days before Jennifer Dulos disappeared but did not enter the house and was only in the back yard.
Pattis asked to have the trial expedited to August.
‘Mr. Dulos is tired of sitting back and hearing people pick apart his motives. We are ready for trial now,’ the attorney said.
‘If he becomes eligible then, I assure you, the court will accommodate him,’ the judge responded.
Outside court, Pattis said that he believed Troconis is cooperating with prosecutors.
‘She spoke to the state, they won’t give us a copy of what she said.
‘You don’t talk to the state voluntarily unless you’re cooperating somehow. She wants something from them. The question is what did they offer her and what did she give them? As near as we can tell, she gave them nothing.’
Fotis’ lawyer also noted that the custody case was going in his client’s favor, adding that the court had made adverse findings about Jennifer’s (left) mental health which he did not elaborate on
State’s Attorney Richard Colangelo told the court that the ‘lab was able to confirm that the defendant DNA was found on the faucet mixed with the victim’s blood in her kitchen’. Officers previously searched Jennifer’s home, (pictured), and found her blood in the garage
Troconis appeared in court on Tuesday ahead of her boyfriend. She pleaded not guilty to the charges.
She was dressed in grey slacks with silver flats, a striped blue blouse and a grey cardigan.
Troconis was accompanied to court by her two sisters, mother and father. Troconis has been out on a $500,000 bond since last week.
On Thursday, she met with state police investigators and the state’s attorney for several hours at her lawyer’s office, where she reportedly made a confession.
‘On Monday, Pattis said ‘there are powerful reasons to doubt he [Fotis] was even at the scene of his estranged wife’s home the day she disappeared’, according to the newspaper.
‘I am unaware of any evidence supporting the theory he was involved in foul play.’
Fotis, (left), and Troconis, (right), are pictured being led into Norwalk Superior Court on Monday morning by New Canaan police, judicial marshals, and the state police
During an interview on WPLR’s Chaz & AJ radio show, Pattis also said that he was ‘told by people with information that the girlfriend [Troconis] was never at the New Canaan home that day – the day the wife went missing – and that she can prove she never was there and that law enforcement may be satisfied’.
Pattis replaced Eugene Riccio, who represented Fotis Dulos during his first court appearance last week. He is also representing Infowars host Alex Jones.
Jones is being sued by families of Sandy Hook victims after claiming that the 2012 school massacre was a hoax and alleging that the victims’ parents were actors.
Pattis spoke out in defense of his client in a statement released on Saturday.
‘I caution the world at large that things are rarely as they appear early on in a sensationalized investigation like this one,’ it read.
‘The rush to judgement stops now, as does the conviction by innuendo. If necessary, we’ll let a jury decide what happened here.’
Jennifer, 50, was last seen dropping off her children at school on May 24 in Connecticut. The search for the missing mom has entered its third week.
She was reported missing that night after failing to show up to several appointments.
On Friday, Troconis was seen with detectives at a house in Farmington that she shared with Fotis.
State police detectives then brought Troconis back to the Farmington home and also searched through the vast woods behind it as the probe for Jennifer continued, according to the Hartford Courant.
Investigators have spent the last week systematically searching properties connected to The Fore Group, which is Fotis’ home building company.
On Thursday Troconis (right) met with state police investigators and the state’s attorney for several hours at her lawyer’s office, where she reportedly made a confession
Troconis reportedly made the confession last week. She is seen leaving her attorney’s office on Thursday
Police are seen at Fotis’ home in Farmington on Friday, where Troconis traveled with police after giving a videotaped interview to them in the presence of her attorney
They’ve searched a house on Sturbridge Hill Road in New Canaan and several properties in New Canaan.
The couple’s five children are being cared for by their grandmother Gloria Farber in her New York City apartment.
They are reportedly being protected by an armed guard.
Video evidence captured by Hartford police shows a man resembling Fotis dumping up to 30 garbage bags into trash cans and dumpsters along Albany Avenue at 7.15pm on the day that Jennifer disappeared, court records said.
A woman resembling Troconis is seen on video sitting in the passenger seat as Fotis Dulos throws out the bags.
Some of the bags were recovered by investigators before they were picked up and taken to a trash-to-energy plant in Hartford’s South Meadows.
Last week’s garbage pickup was delayed by one day because of Memorial Day, so most of the trash from the Albany Avenue area was not destroyed.
Items submitted to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection lab found that they contained Jennifer’s blood, according to Fotis’ arrest warrant.
‘Based on the crime scene processing, investigators came to the consensus that a serious physical assault had occurred at the scene, and Jennifer Dulos was the suspected victim,’ the warrant reads.
Jennifer’s blood was found on clothing and other items including kitchen sponges thrown out in areas along Albany Avenue, according to court documents.
Fotis and Jennifer had been locked in a vicious custody battle for their five children for the last two years.
A divorce filing from Jennifer said she feared her ex would harm her and said Fotis owned a gun.
It also emerged that Fotis was fighting Jennifer’s mother in court after he failed to pay back $1.7million in loans for his company.
Fotis’ cell phone records indicate that on the day Jennifer disappeared, he traveled from his home to a property his business owns around 1.30pm, went back home around 4.20pm, returned to the property at 5.20pm, and then went back home once more at 5.30pm.
Then, at 7.10pm, the phone was tracked to Hartford, where the bloodied items were later recovered.
Police said in the arrest warrant that neither Fotis nor Troconis were cooperating in their investigation at the time.