The estranged husband of missing Connecticut mother Jennifer Dulos pleaded not guilty to her murder while in court on Thursday, and is apparently still out of jail on bond, despite allegedly breaking his bond agreement.
ABC News reports that Fotis Dulos violated the terms of his $6 million bond agreement last week by briefly stopping by a makeshift memorial near the entrance of his Farmington, Connecticut home. He reportedly took items from the memorial that his attorney said were placed there to harass him.
On Thursday, Judge Gary White told Dulos that if he violated his bond again, it would be increased to $12 million.
“Don’t do it again,” White reportedly warned.
Dulos’ bond condition requires him to remain in his home (aside from court appearances) while awaiting trial, which means he cannot leave his property, even if just a few feet outside of it. Dulos’ attorney, Norm Pattis, argued that “supporters of Jennifer” encouraged people to put items outside of Dulos’ home.
“We have been following various web pages ostensibly devoted to supporters of Jennifer. They are encouraging people to place items outside of his home. I’m not sure what that’s about. It might be harassment in any other context,” Pattis told reporters.
“I remind the supporters that Jennifer is missing. She may be presumed dead as far as they’re concerned. We’ve yet to see persuasive evidence of that.”
The memorial is now back up, a week after Dulos reportedly took the items, according to WTNH.
A memorial is back up in honor of #JenniferDulos outside her estranged husband’s home in #Farmington. Officials say he took it down a week ago, violating the terms of his release from jail after being charged with murder. @WTNH pic.twitter.com/PAjt4Dxaz0
— Brian Spyros (@BrianSpyros) January 24, 2020
Jennifer Dulos: Disappearance and Presumed Death
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Dulos is facing one count of murder in connection with Jennifer’s disappearance and assumed death. His girlfriend, Michele Troconis, is facing one count of conspiracy to commit murder in connection to the case.
Kent Mawhinney, who was once Dulos’ civil attorney, is also facing one count of conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the case.
A 35-page arrest warrant indicated that Dulos is accused of bounding Jennifer with zip ties to restrain her before killing her. Connecticut Chief Medical Examiner James R. Gill stated that Jennifer Dulos probably endured a “non-survivable” injury which likely included stabbing and blunt force trauma.
“It is reasonable that Jennifer Dulos was alive at the time the zip ties were attached to restrain her movements and to prevent her escape,” the warrant read.
“We categorically deny that Mr. Dulos had any involvement in the disappearance of his wife, and we defy the state to prove that she is actually dead,” Pattis previously said. “If this is all the state’s got we wonder why it bothered.”
Jennifer, a mother of five, 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. A cleaning service arrived at her home at noon on May 24 but never saw Jennifer.
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 previously arrested in June after authorities said the pair tampered with evidence in connection to Jennifer’s disappearance. According to the initial 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
The pair bailed out of jail, but both were arrested again in September on additional tampering with evidence charges. The second arrests happened after Troconis reportedly turned on Dulos and admitted she lied about seeing him the morning Jennifer vanished.
Troconis told detectives that she did not know where Dulos on the morning of May 24, between 6:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m, taking back her original claim that she was with him.
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.” on May 24.
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.
Mawhinney is accused of digging a makeshift grave at the Windsor Rod & Gun Club in East Granby, Connecticut, shortly before Jennifer vanished.
Authorities learned that Mawhinney, who was a founding member of the gun club, hadn’t been involved with the club in over five years. However, a few months before Jennifer’s disappearance, he told another club member he wanted to get involved again. He was allegedly given a “hidden key.”
Investigators learned that Mawhinney’s phone pinged near the gun club on both March 29 and May 31. Mawhinney was also in close contact with Fotis Dulos around the time Jennifer disappeared, although he denied it, according to the warrant.
The story continues. Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Jennifer Dulos/Handout]