The ex-girlfriend of Fotis Dulos has pleaded not guilty to conspiring with him in connection with the murder of his estranged wife in Connecticut.
Michelle Troconis, 45, denied the charges against her in state court in Stamford – her first appearance since Dulos killed himself last week.
Video shows Troconis being ushered out of the court by her attorney Jon Schoenhorn.
‘She is innocent of the charges, and we will fight them in court,’ Schoenhorn said as he stood beside her.
Troconis was living with Fotis when Jennifer vanished last May. The pair were initially charged with evidence tampering before Fotis was charged with murdering Jennifer and Troconis with conspiracy to commit murder in January.
Fotis attempted to take his own life by gassing himself with carbon monoxide in his garage while on bail. He died two days later in hospital on January 30.
Jennifer, 50, disappeared after taking her and Fotis’ five children to school. Her body has never been found but police say there was evidence of pools of Jennifer’s blood in her garage in New Canaan that someone had tried to clean up.
The estranged couple were going through a contentious divorce and a child custody battle.
Police accused Fotis of attacking his wife in the garage of her home before driving off with her body.
Troconis has not spoken publicly since her arrest. In unsealed police records, however, detectives described how she first stood by Fotis then changed her story to admit lying for him.
Troconis and attorney Kent Mawhinney, a friend of Fotis, were both charged with murder conspiracy and are accused of helping to cover up the killing.
Police say Troconis and Fotis were recorded on surveillance cameras when he threw out trash bags in Hartford on the same day Jennifer disappeared.
The bags contained clothing, zip ties and other items that tested positive for Jennifer’s DNA, cops said.
Troconis repeatedly gave conflicting information to investigators in interviews, cops say. She is accused of lying about seeing Fotis on the morning Jennifer was last seen.
Schoenhorn recently indicated he may challenge the admissibility of those interviews because there may have been a language barrier. Troconis’ first language is Spanish. For the first time in court today, a Spanish interpreter was provided to her.
Prosecutor Richard Colangelo Jr. said that he was investigating whether Troconis had violated a court order by contacting Fotis through third parties before his death.
Troconis is scheduled to appear in court again on March 20.
Troconis’ not-guilty plea comes after Fotis’ legal team was reported to be gearing up for a battle against the Jennifer’s mother over control of his assets.
Fotis’ attorney Norm Pattis and Gloria Farber, 50, are both in the process of filing probate estates. Farber is filing the probate as she is one of Fotis’ closest living relatives and she has been taking care of the couple’s children since Jennifer disappeared on May 24, the Hartford Courant reports. Fotis is not thought to have left a will naming an executor or a beneficiary.
Police were called after a moving van was spotted at Fotis’ home after his family was accused of taking furniture, the New Haven Register reported. Farber’s attorney Richard Weinstein has asked a judge to prohibit anyone from taking the Fotis’ personal belongings from the house until an administrator is named.