Husband in missing mom case pleads not guilty to murder
STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — The estranged husband of a missing Connecticut mother of five who is presumed dead pleaded not guilty Thursday to murder and kidnapping charges as a judge warned him to not violate his house arrest conditions again.
Fotis Dulos appeared in a state court in Stamford, Connecticut, a day after a prosecutor alleged Dulos violated the terms of his $6 million bond last week by removing items from a memorial for his wife set up near his Farmington home.
“What he did was stupid,” Judge Gary White said. “Don’t do it again.”
Dulos, 52, was arrested Jan. 7 on the murder and kidnapping charges in connection with what authorities say was the killing of Jennifer Dulos, who hasn’t been seen since she dropped her five children off at their New Canaan school May 24. He denies any involvement in her disappearance or death.
Prosecutors asked the judge to review Dulos’ bail and pushed to get rid of his ability to leave house arrest for work.
The judge threatened to double Dulos’ bail to $12 million if he violates his release terms and took away his ability to leave his home to go to work. Dulos, who is under GPS monitoring and had to surrender his passport, is still allowed to leave his home to go to church, attend to medical appointments and meet with his lawyers.
Norman Pattis, Dulos’ lawyer, argued that Dulos has financial problems and needs to work.
Pattis also said Dulos should not have removed items from the memorial, but added, “This was no ordinary memorial. It was a means of taunting him.”
Stamford-Norwalk State’s Attorney Richard Colangelo Jr. said Dulos was seen stopping at the end of his private street, leaving his vehicle and removing items from the memorial honoring Jennifer Dulos.
Fotis Dulos’ former girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, and his friend, attorney Kent Mawhinney, are both charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Police said they helped Fotis Dulos try to cover up the killing, including by creating bogus alibis.
Police allege Fotis Dulos lay in wait at Jennifer Dulos’ home in New Canaan for her to return after dropping the children of at school. Authorities say Fotis Dulos attacked Jennifer Dulos in her garage, leaving behind a bloody crime scene, and drove off with her body, which has not been found.
Officials say surveillance video cameras recorded Fotis Dulos disposing of items containing Jennifer Dulos’ blood in Hartford.
The five children, who ranged in age from 8 to 13 when their mother vanished, have been staying with their maternal grandmother in New York City.