STAMFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — Bail has been set for the three people charged with murdering Connecticut mother of five Jennifer Dulos.
Her estranged husband Fotis Dulos, his former girlfriend Michelle Troconis, and his one-time civil attorney Kent Mawhinney were all taken into custody Tuesday. Fotis Dulos was charged with murder and kidnapping, while the other two face conspiracy to commit murder charges.
Jennifer Dulos, a mother of five, disappeared on May 24 after dropping her kids off at school in New Canaan.
Fotis Dulos was ordered held on $6 million bond Wednesday. It’s one of the biggest bonds ever set in the state.
“There are two types of cases: ‘What happened’ and ‘whodunnits.’ We don’t think this rises to the level of a whodunnit because we don’t really know what happened,” defense attorney Norm Pattis said. Pattis described the murder case against Fotis Dulos as “groping in the dark.”
Judge John Blawie denied a defense request to lower it to $1 million, citing extensive DNA and other evidence outlined in the arrest warrant.
#Dulos update: lawyer says Fotis Dulos “not likely” to make bail today. Will spend the night incarcerated and attempt to complete bail process tomorrow.
Michelle Troconis also hoping for release tomorrow.
— Tony Aiello (@AielloTV) January 8, 2020
Pattis said Fotis Dulos was “not likely” to make bail and would spend the night in jail. He hoped to complete the bail process Thursday, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.
The judge also imposed an order of protection barring contact between him and Jennifer Dulos’ mother, Gloria Farber, or his five children, who are all staying with her.
Troconis had her bond reduced to $1.5 million and was also expected to spend the night in jail.
Judge allows “work related” appointments such as going to hardware store with court approval if Dulos is able to post bond.
— Tony Aiello (@AielloTV) January 8, 2020
Fotis Dulos is set to return to court on Feb. 28.
Prosecutors believe he used a red truck belonging to an employee, parked it in New Canaan, and then rode a bicycle to Jennifer Dulos’ home to violently assault her, securing her hands and feet with zip ties.
It’s not clear how or where he allegedly disposed of the body, but investigators believe he prepared a grave in advance.
WEB EXTRA: READ THE ARREST WARRANTS
- Fotis Dulos (Murder, Felony Murder, Kidnapping in the First Degree)
- Michelle Traoconis (Conspiracy To Commit / Murder)
- Kent Mawhinney (Conspiracy To Commit / Murder)
Last June 6, CBS2 reported exclusively on Troconis meeting with state police. The warrant claims she fudged the truth that day, and still has not cooperated fully.
Mawhinney’s arrest warrant says he lied about contacts he had with Fotis Dulos on the day Jennifer Dulos disappeared. The warrant also links him to an empty grave dug in the woods of East Granby.
His attorney questioned how that is connected to a murder conspiracy charge.
“Look at the warrants. I struggle to find the case the state will eventually prove here, to show an agreement, to show a conspiracy,” attorney Jeremy Donnelly said. “I don’t think it’s a strong case against Mr. Mawhinney.”
Connecticut State Police said they have a strong case, releasing a 35-page arrest warrant that details, interviews, and gruesome evidence.
Although Jennifer Dulos’ body is still missing, investigators found her blood and DNA on items that were dumped in Hartford, including a bra and four zip ties.
“Dulos packages Jennifer using plastic zip ties and places her inside her own 2017 Chevrolet Suburban,” the warrant says.
Following the news of their latest arrests, the Family and Friends of Jennifer Farber Dulos group released a statement thanking investigators for their “tireless commitment and diligent, painstaking work that have led to these arrests.”
“Although we are relieved that the wait for these charges is over, for us there is no sense of closure. Nothing can bring Jennifer back. We miss her every day and will forever mourn her loss,” the statement continued. “We believe the arrest warrants will speak for themselves, and we ask that you please respect our privacy during this time. Thank you.”
Investigators have not released a motive for the murder but did say Fotis Dulos was millions of dollars in debt.
Anyone with information about the case should contact the New Canaan Police Department tip line at (203) 594-3544 or see the website FindJenniferDulos.com.