Former girlfriend makes 1st court appearance under new representation since Fotis Dulos' death
The former girlfriend of the man accused of killing his estranged wife appeared in court Friday for the first time since his death and pleaded not guilty to conspiring to kill Jennifer Dulos.
Troconis appeared with her new lawyer, Jon Schoenhorn.
She also took advantage of a Spanish speaking interpreter for the first time.
Her new attorney addressed the judge by saying that although Troconis speaks English, Spanish is her first language. It appears this may be part of his new defense to explain contradicting statements to police in previous interviews.
The main focus of the hearing was Schoenhorn's request to relax Troconis' bond release conditions. The judge ordered Troconis remain under house arrest but will now allow her leave for shopping and work appointments with prior approval.
Troconis had previously only been allowed to leave for doctors’ appointments, church services and legal meetings. However, she still cannot leave the state.
The judge also ordered Troconis to continue wear a GPS ankle bracelet. Schoenhorn showed a picture in court that appears to show bruising on Troconis' ankle due to the monitoring device. The judge responded by saying Troconis will just have to work something out with the probation department so that the bracelet fits more comfortably.
The judge did agree to remove the drug testing requirement, which now Chief State's Attorney Rich Colangelo had no problem with.
Colangelo did, however, bring up allegations he's still trying to confirm that Troconis had contact with Fotis Dulos through a third party in violation of her conditions of release. Schoenhorn denied that in court and would not address it when speaking with media after.
“Until I review the material that was just given to me, and that's why I brought this large briefcase, I have no other comment because I don't know enough to say anything other than what I’ve said before,” said Schoenhorn. “Michelle is innocent of these charges and we plan to fight them through the courts.”
Schoenhorn has also filed a motion to move the case to the Hartford Judicial District. That's expected to be argued at her next appearance March 20.
Attorney Andrew Bowman had been representing Troconis since the beginning of the case but she recently fired him.
The change in representation comes about a week after Fotis Dulos' suicide attempt in Farmington and eventual death at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx.
Fotis Dulos died on Jan. 30 after police say he attempted to kill himself inside his garage. He suffered carbon monoxide poisoning as first responders performed lifesaving procedures and rushed him to the hospital.
Before his death, Dulos was charged with murder in connection to the May 24 disappearance of Jennifer.
Previously, Troconis and Fotis Dulos were each charged with two counts of tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution.
In a suicide note, attorney Norm Pattis says his client declared his innocence and wrote that Troconis and another co-defendant, Kent Mawhinney, had nothing to do with Jennifer's disappearance.
Schoenhorn says it's admissible in court.
Troconis is slated to appear back in Stamford court on March 20.