Jennifer Dulos, a mom of five from New Canaan, has been missing for 18 days and her estranged husband was released on bond Tuesday after being arrested in connection with the missing person case.
Fotis Dulos, 51, the estranged husband of Jennifer Dulos, is being represented by Norm Pattis and he appeared in courts Tuesday minutes after his girlfriend, Michelle Troconis.
Both Fotis Dulos and Troconis have pleaded not guilty to charges in connection with Jennifer Dulos' disappearance. Fotis Dulos has been in custody since his arrest on June 1.
The prosecutor in the case against Dulos said the state has new evidence against Dulos. According to prosecutors, Fotis Dulos' DNA was found mixed with Jennifer Dulos' blood on the kitchen faucet of her New Canaan home.
Pattis countered this new evidence saying Fotis was at Jennifer’s home the Wednesday before she disappeared. The state’s attorney objected, saying witnesses report he was only in the backyard, not in the house.
Pattis said Dulos can account for his whereabouts for most of the day his estranged wife went missing. Pattis said in court that Dulos voluntary handed over his cell phone to investigators but that the state refused to give it back.
The judge in Stamford Superior Court on Tuesday kept Fotis Dulos' bond set at $500,000. The state's attorney wanted the bond number set at $850,000 while Dulos' attorney requested the bond be lowered to $100,000.
“We deny the charges. We don’t know where Mr. Dulos’ ex-wife is. We’re resolute and determined to try this case and we believe fully that our client will be exonerated,” Pattis said outside court Tuesday. “I would ask everyone to put aside the easy narrative here that an angry ex-spouse took matters into his own hands as a result of a custody dispute. That didn’t happen.”
Following his client's release on bond, Pattis sent the following statement:
“I am not sure what the delay was in posting the bond. We were retained over the weekend and were able to assemble a bond package in short order. Obviously, we’re happy to see him head home. We are also looking forward to the forthcoming trial. Mr. Dulos had no motive to kill Jennifer. A recent court-ordered recommendation was that Mr. Fotis share custody 50/50 with Ms. Fotis. We will soon address how he is best able to resume his relationship with his children.”
Jennifer Dulos' mother, Gloria Farber, has filed for custody of her grandchildren and Fotis Dulos appeared in family court Tuesday, hours after pleading not guilty to charges connected to the disappearance.
Dulos' attorney said in court that his client was preparing to post bond and would get a GPS-monitoring device. According the attorney, Dulos would turn over his passport and will be unable to leave the state.
A person who was standing with the defense team was seen leaving Fotis Dulos' Farmington neighborhood Tuesday afternoon. When asked if he had the passport, he gave the NBC Connecticut crew at the scene a thumbs up.
Andrew Bowman, Troconis' attorney, had some strong words outside court about some media reports.
"Although I generally don't comment outside of the court proceedings, I am deeply disappointed and disturbed to read how some of you, and I repeat some of you, have been, in my opinion, unfair and inaccurate in your reporting," Bowman said. "I don't need to remind you that Michelle Troconis is presumed innocent and when you put inaccurate information in the electronic and print media, it prejudices her right to a fair trial. I assume that none of us want to do that so I would appreciate it if some of you could verify the reporting that you put in the paper."
An NBC Connecticut crew witnessed Fotis Dulos returning to his Jefferson Crossing neighborhood in Farmington Tuesday evening. He is due back in court on Aug. 2. Michelle Troconis is due back in court on July 18.
Fotis Dulos and 44-year-old Troconis have been charged with evidence tampering and hindering prosecution in connection to the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos.
Jennifer Dulos, who moved from Farmington to New Canaan after filing for divorce, was last seen while dropping off her children at school in New Canaan on Friday, May 24.
She was reported missing later that night after she missed several appointments and her friends became concerned when they could not reach her.
When police searched Jennifer’s home, they found blood in her garage and suspected she was the victim of a serious assault, according to court documents.
Police have been searching places in several locations across the state, including in Hartford, Farmington and New Canaan looking for evidence related to her disappearance.
One of the places state police have been focusing their search is at a trash plant in Hartford.
A source tells NBC Connecticut that troopers are specifically looking for evidence that might have been picked up by a garbage truck and shredded inside the facility days after Jennifer Dulos disappeared.
City surveillance cameras captured a man police said matched the appearance of Fotis Dulos throwing away bags of garbage along Albany Avenue in Hartford the day Jennifer Dulos disappeared.
Search Continues for Missing Mom, Jennifer Dulos
NBC Connecticut drone footage taken on Friday showed police walking out of the woods and through the backyard of Fotis Dulos’ Farmington home.
After they spent around an hour at the home, NBC Connecticut captured video of a woman resembling Troconis leave the property in a silver BMW with a man who appeared to be her attorney, Andrew Bowman, behind the wheel.
The vehicle matched the one that Troconis was seen leaving in after a court appearance last Monday. NBC News has confirmed that Troconis and her attorney met with investigators last week.
She is out on bond and has been ordered to wear a GPS monitored ankle bracelet.
Pattis' law firm released a statement on Saturday saying in part, “I caution the world at large that things are rarely as they appear early on in a sensationalized investigation like this one. The rush to judgment stops now as does the conviction by innuendo. If necessary, we’ll let a jury decide what happened here."
Pattis is no stranger to high-profile cases in Connecticut. He is also the lawyer representing Infowars Host Alex Jones, who is being sued by families of Sandy Hook victims for his statements that the 2012 massacre was a hoax.