Judge: Michelle Troconis can travel without pre-approval, GPS ankle monitor will remain
Michelle Troconis got a partial win during a remote court hearing Thursday regarding her bond release conditions. Judge John Blawie ruled she no longer needs approval from the court to travel in the country but will have to keep wearing her GPS ankle monitor.
“Clearly the state’s position is to keep the GPS unit on Ms. Troconis. She is charged with very serious allegations, and we’re very interested in knowing her whereabout while this case is pending,” said Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Michelle Manning, who took over the case a few months ago.
Blawie denied the request from Attorney Jon Schoenhorn, as the judge has done numerous times. Troconis has been wearing an ankle monitor since her first arrest in connection to the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos, the estranged wife of Troconis’ then-boyfriend, Fotis Dulos.
“Attorney Schoenhorn, the charges have not changed, but you are correct your client has been compliant with her conditions since they were imposed,” Blawie said. “And as long as she stays within the continental United States, I do believe the Office of Adult Probation can adequately monitor her whereabouts through the electronic device she’s wearing.”
Troconis is out on $2.1 million bond while facing several charges including conspiracy to commit murder, evidence tampering, and hindering prosecution. Jennifer Dulos is presumed dead, though her body hasn’t been found. Thursday the state reiterated the search isn’t over.
“We still have an investigation going on and that has to do with the whereabouts of Jennifer Dulos, and we will never stop,” Manning vowed.
New Canaan police and Connecticut state police began that investigation in May 2019. But in a motion filed Wednesday, Schoenhorn contended there was a parallel federal investigation launched by the Department of Homeland Security a month after Jennifer Dulos disappeared. Schoenhorn said it was withheld from him until this year, and he wants access to it.
“I shouldn’t be in the position of finding out about things, that I should've heard about at least since I’ve been on the case in February,” Schoenhorn complained.
In his motion, he asked for information on other potential suspects in the case—even if they weren’t charged—including one of Fotis Dulos’ friends from Greece who had his cellphone seized by federal agents. Andreas Toutziaridis was briefly mentioned in one of Troconis’ arrest warrants as making a phone call to Fotis Dulos’ cellphone that was answered by Troconis the morning Jennifer Dulos was last seen.
“He may in fact be a co-conspirator suddenly, and that has never been previously disclosed,” Schoenhorn said. The motion will be argued at a future hearing.
Schoenhorn said Thursday he still has concerns about discovery issues and the state not turning over all their evidence to him. “I’m still getting things dribs and drabs, things that go back to 2019,” he said. He noted he just got a new DNA report regarding tools seized in 2019. “There has to be an end to these late disclosures of things that go back years.”
Schoenhorn asked the judge to impose a deadline for turning over all evidence, which the judge denied. Manning noted she’s relatively new to the case, and there’s massive amounts of information for her to get through, but she said Schoenhorn will have access to everything that was seized or reviewed, no matter how it ties to the case.
Troconis and Kent Mawhinney are the two remaining defendants after Fotis Dulos died by suicide in January 2020 while facing murder, kidnapping and other charges in the case. Mawhinney is named as a co-conspirator alongside Troconis. The previous prosecutor said he’d likely testify against her at trial. But Manning did not commit to that Thursday.
“Whether or not Mr. Mawhinney will be utilized as a witness, that will be a decision we will make when that time is appropriate,” Manning told the court.
The next hearing in the case is set for Sept. 6. It will be off the record in the judge’s chambers. Both sides are set to discuss which motions are still unresolved and schedule hearings to argue them.