Day 20 of Michelle Troconis trial spotlights digital data from Fotis Dulos’ truck, cellphone

A digital expert testified that video of Fotis Dulos allegedly dumping bloody evidence was corroborated by GPS data from his black Ford Raptor.

Marissa Alter

Feb 8, 2024, 10:08 PM

Updated 165 days ago


Digital data from cellphones and vehicles was at the center of testimony on Day 20 of Michelle Troconics’ trial in connection to the disappearance and presumed death of her former boyfriend’s estranged wife. The prosecution used the technology to confirm evidence previously presented at trial.
Mark Newth, a digital expert in the state lab’s computer crimes and evidence unit, took the stand first Thursday and told the jury he was asked by state police to analyze data from multiple vehicles connected to the Jennifer Dulos investigation, including Fotis Dulos Ford Raptor and Jennifer Dulos’ Chevy Suburban. Newth explained a vehicle’s infotainment system often has information such as GPS coordinates, as well as the call log and contacts from any phone connected to the vehicle.
Newth testified the GPS data he pulled from the Raptor corroborated security camera video that was already shown to the jury of Fotis Dulos allegedly dumping bloody evidence the night of May 24, 2019.
"At 7:48 p.m. to 7:55 p.m., the vehicle drives from Albany Avenue in Hartford down Albany Avenue to Bishops Corner in West Hartford,” Newth said as he pointed to a map from his report.
The jury learned GPS data from Fotis Dulos' phone also matched the footage from that evening.
But state police believe Fotis Dulos purposely left his phone at home in Farmington that morning to help create a fake alibi for when he allegedly killed his wife. Detective Michael Clark testified the phone received several incoming text messages from 7:18 a.m. through 10:12 a.m., but not a single one was opened and viewed until 1:33 p.m at the earliest. Clark said a deeper dive into the data showed the phone's camera was accessed, and the phone was moved around the house at 4 Jefferson Crossing during the morning and early afternoon. He also told the jury the phone got multiple incoming calls during that time frame that weren’t answered, but one was—a call at 8:26 a.m. from Andreas Toutziaridis, Fotis Dulos’ friend in Greece. Clark also pulled up prior messages between the two, showing Fotis Dulos asked Toutziaridis to make the call at that time.
Another message between them included a meme video from Toutziaridis that shows a man listening as a voice says, "You have two options. A — Spend the rest of your life with your wife. Or B —" The man in the video immediately interrupts, “B!” before the second option is even given.
The prosecution used Clark’s testimony to try and show Fotis Dulos had an accomplice who answered his phone while he was elsewhere. Police believe he used an employee’s red Toyota Tacoma to drive to New Canaan and attack Jennifer Dulos inside her garage, before disposing of her body. She’s never been found but was declared legally dead. Jennifer Dulos’ Suburban was discovered that evening abandoned on Lapham Road outside Waveny Park.
Newth testified his extraction of data from that SUV for May 24, 2019, came up empty for GPS coordinates but turned up quite a lot of phone data. That included the last time a phone paired with the Suburban — 2:56 p.m., hours after police believe Jennifer Dulos was killed. Newth told the jury he didn’t know whose phone it was since it was just listed as “iPhone” in the system. But the defense has said it’s Jennifer Dulos’ phone. A call log pulled up on screen in court included calls from her mother and a friend. Newth testified the phone would’ve probably had to have been within 50 feet of the SUV to connect, and trees and bushes wouldn’t have prevented that.
Defense attorney Jon Schoenhorn brought up that phone connection when he spoke with reporters outside the courthouse.
“Why and how did Jennifer Dulos' cellphone, her iPhone, attach to her vehicle at 2:56 p.m.? Who had it? Who was either in or near her vehicle with it at that time? So, I don't have an answer for that, but we know Mr. Dulos was not there, and we know my client wasn't there,” Schoenhorn said.
He also commented on testimony from the prosecution’s key witness on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“I think what came out loud and clear is several days after the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos, both my client and Mr. Gumienny assumed she was still alive. As far as I’m concerned that is certainly the dispositive factor when it comes to the charge of conspiracy to commit murder,” Schoenhorn stated.
During cross examination, Schoenhorn centered on Gumienny’s testimony coming as part of an immunity deal that he had with the state’s attorney’s office. News 12 asked Schoenhorn Thursday whether he thought his client would’ve gotten immunity and not be on trial if Fotis Dulos hadn’t died by suicide in January 2020 while facing murder and other charges in the case.
“The fact that Mr. Gumienny's lawyer was clever enough to reach an agreement with the state's attorney in exchange for cooperation is what I believe to be the difference between why Mr. Gumienny is not on trial, and my client is,” Schoenhorn said. He was not Troconis’ attorney initially.
Troconis has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit murder, evidence tampering, conspiracy to commit evidence tampering and hindering prosecution. She is the first of the remaining defendants to go to trial. Kent Mawhinney, Fotis Dulos’ friend and former attorney, is also charged with conspiracy to commit murder.
The jury will get an extended weekend as there’s no court Friday or Monday. Testimony resumes Tuesday at 10 a.m.

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