Troconis Remains In Custody, As Mawhinney's Lawyer Issues Statement

CONNECTICUT — Michelle Troconis, who was convicted last week in connection with the disappearance and death of Jennifer Farber Dulos, remained in Connecticut’s York Correctional Institution in Niantic on Monday, as her family worked to post bond for her release.

Troconis was led away from court in handcuffs last week, and her bail is $6 million, up from $2.1 million prior to her conviction. Of that amount, she must post about $420,000, or 7 percent, in addition to property as collateral. Her attorney, Jon Schoenhorn, said last week that he believed she could be released on bond this week.

If the bond is raised, Troconis will be on house arrest until her sentencing on May 31, and will again have to wear a GPS monitoring device on her ankle to track her movements. Schoenhorn had successfully argued for the removal of the device last spring, prior to her trial.

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Troconis was found guilty of six charges, including conspiracy to commit murder and tampering with evidence, and she faces a potential maximum sentence of 20 to 50 years in prison, depending on whether the sentence runs concurrently or consecutively.

Schoenhorn said he will file motions this month for a new verdict, and/or will appeal the conviction.

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Attorney Lindy Urso, one of Connecticut’s preeminent defense lawyers, told Patch that Troconis could possibly get a new trial in the case. Urso observed the trial, but was not a member of Troconis’ defense team.

“I was surprised the jury convicted on Conspiracy to Commit Murder,” Urso wrote in an email. “We do not have a ‘Conspiracy after the fact’ law in Connecticut, and I didn’t see proof of foreknowledge beyond a reasonable doubt. Unfortunately, I believe Michelle was the state’s star witness, with those ill-advised 3 interviews she did with police. Without those, I don’t know that Michelle would have ever even been charged.

“There were a lot of difficult pretrial issues and rulings in this case and, knowing our appeals courts, I think there is a better than usual chance that she prevails on appeal and we are doing this all over again in a few years.”

Jennifer Dulos, a 50-year-old mother of five children, vanished from her New Canaan home on May 24, 2019, and is believed to have been murdered by her estranged husband, the late Fotis Dulos. Jennifer’s body has not been found, and a probate judge late last year officially declared her dead.

Though he was arrested on kidnapping and murder charges, Fotis Dulos never stood trial, because he died after a suicide attempt in January 2020. The Duloses were in the midst of a contentious divorce and child custody fight when Jennifer disappeared, and Troconis was Fotis’ girlfriend at the time.

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A trial date has not yet been set for the other defendant in the case, Kent Mawhinney, who is a former friend of Fotis Dulos. Mawhinney faces a similar charge of conspiracy to commit murder in the case, accused of also helping Fotis in the murder plot.

In a statement to Patch, Mawhinney’s attorney, Jeffrey Kestenband, said his client was not involved in Jennifer Dulos’ death.

“The senseless murder of Jennifer Farber Dulos was a horrific crime,” Kestenband said. “We hope the verdict in the Troconis case provides a measure of relief for Ms. Farber Dulos’ family and friends. That verdict has nothing to do with Kent Mawhinney, however. His name was barely mentioned over six weeks of trial, and for good reason – he was not involved in the death of Jennifer Farber Dulos.”

Mawhinney, who has pleaded not guilty, was accused of assisting in the creation of “alibi scripts” to help Fotis.

The Dulos case:

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