Defendant in Jennifer Dulos case released from custody again
Kent Mawhinney, who is charged in connection to the murder of Jennifer Dulos, is out of custody again but now on house arrest after a judge reduced his bond during a hearing at Stamford Superior Court Thursday.
Mawhinney had been incarcerated since Oct. 3 when Judge Gary White raised his bond to $1.5 million on allegations Mawhinney tried to cut off his court-mandated GPS ankle monitor.
Thursday afternoon his attorney argued for his bond to be lowered back to $246,000—what it was before the increase.
"He had been free for about two years, before Oct. 3 this year, without any violations. He'd traveled out of state multiple times. He always returned on time without any problems at all," said attorney Jeffrey Kestenband.
Supervisory State's Attorney Michelle Manning objected to the motion.
"It is such an extreme step Mr. Mawhinney took and a blatant disregard of the court order," Manning responded. "To go now, two-and-a half months after his bond has been raised and go back to what it was in the original bond, in the state's view, doesn't take into account the act that raised his bond to begin with."
White said while he viewed what Mawhinney did unfavorably, he wanted to be "firm but fair." He reversed his previous decision but added additional release conditions. Mawhinney will now be on lockdown at home with GPS and electronic monitoring. He can only leave for medical, legal and religious reasons.
The judge warned he won't deal with any non-compliance. "If you don't get the message after this, and you tamper with the device again, I'll take appropriate action," White said.
Mawhinney previously pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in the death and disappearance of Jennifer Dulos. He's accused of trying to provide a fake alibi for Fotis Dulos the morning his estranged wife went missing on May 24, 2019. Jennifer Dulos was last seen dropping her five kids off at school in New Canaan. Her body has never been found, but she is presumed dead. Fotis Dulos killed himself while awaiting trial for her death and kidnapping, leaving Mawhinney and codefendant Michelle Troconis to face charges in connection to the case.
Troconis, who was Fotis Dulos' girlfriend at the time, has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit murder, evidence tampering, conspiracy to commit evidence tampering and hindering prosecution. She is free on $2.1 million bond with GPS monitoring. Her next court is set for Feb. 23.