Fotis Dulos, the estranged husband of missing mother of five, Jennifer Dulos, wants his case thrown out. His girlfriend, however, is pushing for a jury trial.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Dulos has been charged with two counts of tampering with evidence and one count of hindering prosecution in connection with Jennifer’s disappearance. His girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, is facing the same charges.
During a court hearing in Stamford on Friday, Dulos’ attorney, Norm Pattis, argued that Dulos’ charges reflect an underlying felony, but the defendant has not been charged with a felony.
“The defendant stands charged with two crimes that have no basis in the evidence or law,” Pattis wrote in a motion, according to the Stamford Advocate.
“This is telling, as the state, faced with a media firestorm, has clearly put the cart before the horse in charging the defendant. The state’s willingness to sacrifice the defendant’s constitutional liberties in hopes of acquiring some evidence against him in the future simply cannot stand.”
The judge didn’t rule on the motions. He said he needed time to review the arguments and scheduled a follow-up hearing for November 6.
Meanwhile, Troconis, who also appeared at a Friday morning court hearing, pleaded not guilty. Her lawyer said they wanted a jury trial. Troconis is scheduled to return to court on October 25.
Dulos continues to deny any involvement in Jennifer’s disappearance, even after losing his alibi when his Troconis told police earlier this year that she lied when she claimed she knew where he was on the morning of May 24, the same morning Jennifer vanished from her upscale New Canaan home.
Troconis also admitted she gave Dulos a false alibi; she fessed up that she had no idea where Fotis Dulos was between 6:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. on May 24.
Authorities believe a “serious physical assault” happened to Jennifer, and the “the crime and the cleanup are believed to have occurred between 8:05 a.m. and 10:25 a.m.”
Trocinis also said that Dulos borrowed a truck from his friend, Pawel Gummienny, around the time Jennifer vanished, according to court documents. Troconis said Dulos later had the truck detailed and washed.
When detectives asked her why the truck was cleaned, Jennifer allegedly referenced to blood inside the vehicle.
“You showed me the picture of the blood in the door. It’s because the body of Jennifer at some point was in there.”
The arrest warrant stated Dulos later offered replacement rear truck seats to Gummienny. The owner of the truck reportedly told police that Dulos instructed him to get rid of the old seats “so they would not be found.”
Gummienny claimed he held onto the old seats, in the event authorities asked for them.
Investigators obtained the old seats from Gummienny and performed a swab test on a “blood-like substance,” which matched Jennifer’s DNA.
Further, investigators accused Dulos of “lying in wait” for Jennifer to come home on May 24, when security footage captured her walking into her home at around 8:30 a.m.
Investigators noted that Jennifer’s SUV left her residence at some point on May 24, but they think Fotis Dulos was behind the wheel.
Jennifer was last seen at around 8 a.m. on May 24 while dropping her children off at the New Canaan Country School in the prominent New Canaan community in Connecticut. Police later found her vehicle, a black 2017 Chevrolet Suburban, parked off of Lapham Road. Jennifer was nowhere to be found. A cleaning service arrived at her home at noon on Friday but Jennifer was not there.
Jennifer also missed several appointments that day, including one at 11 a.m. and one at 1 p.m. Since she vanished, she has not used her cellphone or her credit cards.
Search dogs and search teams scoured through wooded areas by Jennifer’s home, as well as a 300-acre park, bodies of water and a cornfield. Authorities also spent days searching at a large dump facility and scouring Fotis Dulos’ property in Farmington.
Both Dulos and Troconis were first arrested in June after authorities said the pair tampered with evidence in connection to Jennifer’s disappearance. According to the arrest affidavit, investigators found, in part:
- Bags of blood-stained clothing and sponges that Dulos allegedly dropped into trash cans at businesses in Connecticut
- Stains of blood on Jennifer’s garage floor
- Blood spatter in numerous areas of Jennifer’s home
- Dulos’ DNA mixed in with Jennifer’s blood on her kitchen faucet
- Obvious attempts to clean up the scene
- Altered Connecticut license plates that belonged to Dulos
- Security footage of Dulos driving his Ford pickup to various locations, dropping trash bags into different public trash receptacles
- Security footage of Troconis “leaning out of the passenger seat of the Ford pickup and either placing something on the ground or picking up an item”
- Blood DNA that matched to Jennifer inside Gummienny’s truck
Troconis was also arrested again on additional tampering with evidence charge. Both have since bailed out of jail and are required to wear GPS monitoring on their ankles.
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[Feature Photo: Jennifer Dulos/Handout]