Judge sets hearing for state to justify Michelle Troconis’ GPS ankle monitor

Michelle Troconis, who is charged in connection to the disappearance and presumed death of Jennifer Dulos, is again trying to get her GPS ankle monitor removed. Her attorney Jon Schoenhorn appeared in Stamford Superior Court Thursday without his client, whose appearance was waived.

Marissa Alter

Mar 16, 2023, 11:38 PM

Updated 431 days ago

Share:

Michelle Troconis, who is charged in connection to the disappearance and presumed death of Jennifer Dulos, is again trying to get her GPS ankle monitor removed. Her attorney Jon Schoenhorn appeared in Stamford Superior Court Thursday without his client, whose appearance was waived. It came one day after Schoenhorn filed a new motion calling the anklet "legally unjustifiable."
Schoenhorn expected to argue the motion at the hearing, but Assistant State’s Attorney Michelle Manning asked for time to prepare given she just got the motion, and it’s 50 pages with exhibits.
In court, Schoenhorn noted he had the latest report from the Court Support Services Division showing Troconis is in full compliance. “This is now close to four years that she’s been in full compliance, so I understand, I’m not going to object that the state wants some time. I’ll just note that the delay keeps the status quo, which I’m trying to change,” Schoenhorn said.
In the motion, Schoenhorn argued his client has obeyed all conditions of her release since she was first arrested in the case, about a week after the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos, the estranged wife of Troconis' boyfriend at the time, Fotis Dulos. Jennifer Dulos was last seen May 24, 2019. Troconis was initially charged with evidence tampering and hindering in connection to the Jennifer Dulos case. She was arrested two more times in the case, including on a conspiracy to commit murder charge.
Fotis Dulos died by suicide in January 2020, three weeks after being charged with killing his estranged wife. Troconis and attorney Kent Mawhinney are accused of conspiring with him.
Troconis is out on $2.1 million bond. In the motion, Schoenhorn wrote, "Requiring her to remain tethered to a bulky ankle bracelet for several additional months (perhaps more) – without any factual determination justifying its necessity – is unreasonable, unconscionable and (after 45 months) unconstitutional."
Judge Gary White has previously denied multiple motions from Schoenhorn to remove Troconis' GPS ankle monitor, the most recent decision coming in November. But Schoenhorn appealed the ruling with the State Appellate Court, which sent the case back to the lower court for a new hearing on whether the anklet is justified.
“There are many cases that suggest even a year or two of having to wear a GPS bracelet all the time, having the state know where you are at all times, constitutes punishment. Now we're on four years. Someone is presumed innocent, someone who's never been convicted of any crime ever, ever. Yet she's been on a bracelet for four years,” Schoenhorn said outside the courthouse before the hearing.
Schoenhorn called the ankle monitor “the 21st century equivalent of the ball and chain.” In the motion, he detailed multiple times where the ankle monitor has created an issue, including at the airport where TSA agents wouldn’t allow her to fly without verification she was allowed to. Schoenhorn also claimed Troconis can’t ride horses or get a job doing equine therapy because of the device.
Troconis no longer lives in Connecticut, which is one reason why the prosecution has opposed removing her ankle monitor. In court Thursday, Manning touched on that.
“Just to preface some of the state's argument with respect to the GPS unit is her lack of ties to the community, Your Honor, and her ability to come to court. Her presence has been waived, numerous appearances have been done virtually, and her presence has been waived both virtually and in person on numerous occasions,” Manning said.
The judge set a hearing on the ankle monitor for April 6. You can read the motion here
The court appearance Thursday was initially scheduled to discuss closing the courtroom to hear arguments about motions each side has filed to disqualify counsel from the other. Instead, that was moved to April 20.
Prosecutors want Schoenhorn removed from representing Troconis because he may be called to testify at her trial about how he obtained a box of potential evidence. The box was turned over to police through attorney, now judge, Tara Knight. Inside was a letter, tools and a sweatshirt that may belong to one of Fotis Dulos’ employees. Schoenhorn contends the sweatshirt may cast doubt on whether Fotis Dulos attacked his wife in her home in New Canaan and may suggest the employee was involved.
Schoenhorn filed his own motion calling for the Stamford State's Attorney's Office to be disqualified from the case for violating privilege. At issue is whether the letter in the box constitutes attorney-client privilege.


More from News 12