Michelle Troconis, the girlfriend of missing Connecticut mother Jennifer Dulos’ estranged husband, appeared in court on Wednesday to be arraigned on tampering with evidence charges for the second time.
Troconis said nothing as she entered the court in Norwalk, Connecticut, accompanied by her lawyer and her father, whose arm she held on to.
The hearing lasted only two minutes, during which neither she nor her attorney said anything. They will return to court on October 10.
She is accused of helping Fotis Dulos destroy or tamper with evidence in relation to Jennifer’s May 24 disappearance.
According to police, she and Fotis were seen depositing trash bags the night Jennifer vanished which were later tested positive for her DNA.
Investigators say the items they contained were clothes that were soaked in Jennifer’s blood. They also say they found traces of her blood in seats that were removed from the car Dulos was driving that day.
Michelle Troconis arrives at court on the arm of one of her father on Wednesday to face evidence tampering charges
Troconis and her attorney at the Connecticut Superior Court on Wednesday. The hearing lasted just two minutes and they made no comment
Troconis initially told the cops that she had been with Fotis in his home on the morning of the disappearance and that they showered together.
In August, she confessed that she had made it up and that the shower anecdote was something he told her to say. Police have not found Jennifer’s body and the search for her continues.
They have not charged Fotis with murder or assault, but believe he ‘lay in wait’ for the mother of his five children at her rented home on the morning she vanished. The pair were in the midst of a bitter court battle for custody of their children.
Fotis, who was married once before Jennifer, left her for Michelle, a socialite who he’d been having an affair with.
Dulos, who is Greek, insists that he had nothing to do with her disappearance.
His attorney has publicly accused Jennifer of staging her disappearance in a ‘Gone Girl’ style plot and has also suggested that she may have killed herself.
Troconis was emotional before the hearing and clung to her father. She looked anxious inside but said nothing
Troconis clung to her father’s arm as she arrived at the court. She wore a suit and striped shirt
After the short hearing, she left the court, again holding on to her father. Her mother, who normally comes with her to court, was absent
Troconis with her father, leaving court on Wednesday. She will return on October 10
Last week, he challenged prosecutors, telling reporters after his client’s hearing: ‘Here is our message to the state of Connecticut: ‘Mr Dulos is not guilty, when you’re ready to try a case based on appropriate evidentiary standards in a court of law, you’ll know where to find us.
‘We’ve got three words for the state. Bring it on.’
The judge issued a gag order to stop Pattis and prosecutors from discussing the case publicly.
He scolded Pattis for permeating a theory that Jennifer killed herself or staged her disappearance in a ‘Gone Girl’ style plot, and also said information from the police department had been leaked.
Jennifer Dulos has not been seen since May 24
‘The problem with pervasive information or misinformation in the social media age is that in a high-profile case, it carries the potential to overwhelm the vital, constitutionally guaranteed right to a fair trial.
‘The extent and the nature of the coverage is not merely a result of the public record of the case, but rather, it reflects the tendency of some to fan the flames of publicity by providing the media with salacious, inadmissible, and often prejudicial details,’ Superior Court Judge John Blawie said.
Before his second arrest, Dulos gave an interview to NBC’s Dateline where he said he thought his wife was still alive.
He also said he had a ‘beautiful life’ with his girlfriend Michelle Troconis, who has also been charged.
Troconis confessed to police in an August interview that she lied when she said she’d been with Dulos the morning Jennifer vanished, admitting that she did not in fact have an alibi for him.
He had given her ‘alibi scripts’ to recount to detectives, his arrest warrant claims, including that they spent the morning in the shower together.
Dulos was married before his fateful union with Jennifer Farber. He tied the knot with Hilary Aldama in Athens, Greece, in 2000.
Like both Fotis and Jennifer, Aldama is a graduate of Ivy League Brown University, although she was 10 years younger than her first husband.
Fotis Dulos in court in Connecticut on Thursday with his lawyer, Norm Pattis. He has pleaded not guilty to tampering with evidence charges
Before 8am on May 24, a Tacoma truck which Dulos borrowed was spotted on surveillance footage driving towards Jennifer’s home (shown)
Surveillance footage (pictured) shows the last known images of Jennifer driving home, where police say Dulos ‘lay in wait’, after she dropped her children at school at around 8am on May 24
At 11.12am, after the alleged attack, the truck – allegedly with Dulos in it – is filmed making its way back to where he lives
The Red Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, owned by Pawel Gumienny, pictured, was parked in New Canaan, close to where Jennifer’s Suburban was found abandoned later that day
The union lasted for just four years and the couple did not have any children. Dulos went on to marry Farber just six weeks after his divorce from Aldama was finalized and the newly married couple lived in the house in Canton, Connecticut, that Dulos was awarded in his divorce.
Aldama went on to be a corporate lawyer in Shreveport, Louisiana, and married local businessman Ryan Wooley.
Jennifer vanished on May 24 as the couple, pictured, were battling it out in court over their divorce and custody of their five children
She had twins — a boy and a girl — who were born a month prematurely in 2011. Their health struggles led her to become active in the March of Dimes, she told the Shreveport Times.
When approached by DailyMail.com at her three-bedroom home south of downtown Shreveport, Aldama, now 42, declined to comment on either her marriage or her former spouse’s arrest.
The warrant revealed chilling new allegations including that he removed the seats from the employee’s car he had used on the day Jennifer vanished and told that employee to ‘get rid’ of the vehicle.
When prosecutors tested the seats, they said they found Jennifer’s blood on them.
They also say that he was ‘lying in wait’ for the mother in her rented home, waiting for her to return from dropping their children off at school.
They believe Dulos then attacked her in their home at around 8am. At 10am, they say he drove her car, with her in it, out of the home.
In his Dateline interview, Fotis insisted he had never been violent towards her, despite her claiming in divorce court documents that she was afraid of him, saying: ‘There was never, never, never any violence, any abuse in any way.
‘Jennifer and I didn’t even really argue all these years. I’m not putting the blame on her or me.
‘Nothing went catastrophically wrong, people sometimes just fall apart… It was going to be an amicable divorce. One day she just took the children and disappeared. She hired bodyguards and went to New York.
‘It just happens, and it happens all the time,’ he said, in an apparent explanation of why they separated.