Authorities showed up at 52-year-old Connecticut man Fotis Dulos’s home on Tuesday and took him into custody. Reports say that Dulos has been charged with the murder of his estranged wife, Jennifer Dulos, a 50-year-old mother of five last seen dropping off her kids at school on May 24, 2019.
After news started filtering out, Dulos’s lawyer Norm Pattis said, “I have not seen the warrant yet, I don’t mean to be rude. I haven’t seen the warrant yet, but I’m told that it’s for the crime of murder.”
“I’m told by a reliable source, though I have not yet seen the warrant, that two other people are being arrested this morning, as well, and I’m not going to comment on their identities,” he said.
Two others will are also being charged.
Michelle Troconis, Dulos’s former girlfriend, will be charged with murder, while attorney Kent Mawhinney will be charged with conspiracy to commit murder, early reports say.
It’s not entirely clear what Mawhinney is accused of doing in connection with this case, but he and Dulos have been linked in the press before. From the Journal Inquirer in August:
Lawyer Kent D. Mawhinney, accused of raping his estranged wife in South Windsor in January, is now also accused of violating a court order by using Fotis Dulos, whose own estranged wife has since disappeared, as an intermediary to contact Mawhinney’s wife.
Mawhinney’s wife told police she believed her husband wanted her dead and that the contacts Dulos made with her were part of an attempt “to get rid of her,” South Windsor police Officer David Johnson wrote in an affidavit.
Mawhinney previously represented Dulos in a civil lawsuit filed by Gloria Farber, Dulos’s mother-in-law. The dispute was over a loan. Farber sued Dulos for more than $2.5 million. What Farber called a loan, Dulos called a gift.
During a sit-down interview in July, Dulos said he understood why the public and police believe he was behind Jennifer’s disappearance, but said the “truth is going to come out.” Fotis Dulos’s defense, you may have seen, even indicated that was “actively contemplating the revenge suicide hypothesis as an explanation” for Jennifer Dulos’s disappearance.
“I think they [members of the public] should wait. I have faith in the system, and in the police and the legal system, and hopefully we’ll have some answers soon,” Dulos said. “I never follow the tabloids, and I don’t care about the threats.”
Dulos commented that he believes he’s already been “convicted” in the minds of many. He also said that he thought he was “dreaming” when he ended up jailed and wearing in orange jumpsuit.
“When it all started, I said this cannot be true, I must be dreaming,” he continued. “I’m wearing orange, I’m in a cell … this cannot be true.”
Remarkably, Dulos acknowledged that “Statistically when this happens”–a spouse goes missing–“90 or 95% (of the time) it’s the spouse. So I understand why people feel like this.” Dulos said that he’s “in the 5 or 10%” of spouses who aren’t involved.
Finally, Dulos addressed the effect Jennifer’s disappearance has had on his kids and the rest of the family. He included himself among those who are worried about Jennifer.
“It’s been very different … Been a very tough time for the whole family, we’re all worried about Jennifer,” he said. “I’m worried very much about the kids and what they’re going through.”
After Jennifer disappeared in the middle of a contentious divorce, police searched her New Canaan home and found blood stains and spatters in multiple places. According to arrest warrants, there was also evidence that a person or people tried to clean the scene and that cell phone records showed Fotis was in the area the night Jennifer disappeared.
State’s Attorney Richard Colangelo said that Fotis Dulos’s DNA was mixed with Jennifer’s blood, which was allegedly found in the sink at her home.
Authorities allegedly found sponges and clothing stained with Jennifer’s blood in trash cans. Surveillance footage also allegedly showed that a black Ford Raptor pickup truck made 30 stops along a four-mile stretch of road on May 24, the day Jennifer Dulos disappeared. Fotis Dulos has a black Ford Raptor, and video showed him pulling into his driveway that night at 8:10 p.m., authorities said. Officials also said there was evidence that two altered Connecticut license plates were found in a discarded FedEx package.
Both Dulos and Troconis were initially charged for allegedly hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence in connection with Jennifer’s disappearance. The two were rearrested in September and charged with another count of tampering with evidence.
Troconis was allegedly caught on camera “leaning out of the passenger seat of the Ford pickup and either placing something on the ground or picking up an item.”
When Jennifer Dulos filed for divorce more than two years ago, she claimed Fotis had “sickening revenge fantasies.”
She claimed that her husband had an affair and wanted to move his mistress, Troconis, into the family’s Farmington home. Jennifer also said that she believed that filing for divorce would “enrage” Fotis. She had no doubts that he would “retaliate” in some way.
“I know that filing for divorce, and filing this motion will enrage him,” she said. “I know he will retaliate by trying to harm me in some way. He has the attitude that he must always win at all costs. He is dangerous and ruthless when he believes that he has been wronged. During the course of our marriage, he told me about sickening revenge fantasies and plans to cause physical harm to others who have wronged him.”
“I have rented a home in New Canaan, Connecticut, so that I can safely leave the marital residence with the children and live close to their school,” she added.
It was in that very New Canaan that authorities said Jennifer was the victim of a violent crime. Her body has not been found.
Fotis Dulos’s attorney Norm Pattis previously downplayed the DNA discovery in the sink, in terms of how it will affect the defense strategy.
“I don’t know how the DNA got there but I’m not at all worried about that,” Pattis told KITV. “As a matter of public relations and optics, it was an ‘ouch’ moment. As a matter of trial technique and evidence, it’s really not an issue at all.”
And despite all of this, Pattis on Tuesday said he and his client are “confident” they will beat the murder charge.
“I’m not surprised that the state decided to bring the charge,” said Pattis. “I haven’t seen the warrant. I’ll be surprised if they can win it. Mr. Dulos contends he was not involved,” he said, per CBS News. “In a paradoxical way, we welcome this fight, because we think we will win it. In fact, we’re confident we will. And now we won’t have to speculate about what it looks like any longer.”
Dulos’s bond has been set at $6 million, and he can’t post it until he’s been arraigned on the new charge.
[Image via NBC New York screengrab]
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