Michelle Troconis pleads not guilty to contempt charge from trial in Dulos case

She's accused of displaying a sealed custody report from the Dulos divorce case on her laptop for the gallery and media to see during testimony in her trial, which was being livestreamed to the public at the time.

Marissa Alter

Jul 10, 2024, 4:35 PM

Updated 11 days ago

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Michelle Troconis, who was convicted in the disappearance and presumed death of Jennifer Dulos, returned to Stamford Superior Court Wednesday, where Troconis pleaded not guilty to the contempt charge she's facing from her criminal trial.
In March, a jury found her guilty of plotting with her then-boyfriend, Fotis Dulos, to kill his estranged wife and helping him cover up the crime in 2019. The seven-week trial was streamed live, during which Troconis is accused of displaying a court-sealed report from the Dulos divorce case on her laptop for the gallery and anyone watching the feed to see.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Assistant State’s Attorney Elizabeth Moran addressed talks she's had with Troconis' attorney since the last time the contempt case was in court.
“There were several options discussed. We agreed to continue this matter into September, and we will have another pre-trial before then—we’ve been doing so remotely—to see if we can resolve this matter,” Moran told the judge.
Attorney Robert Frost entered a not guilty plea on his client's behalf and declined to comment on the case after court, but Frost filed motions Wednesday regarding the case going to trial.
One asks for the court to compel the videographer for the livestream, a Law & Crime employee who lives in Massachusetts, to testify for the defense about, "(1) the specific instructions given to him regarding the positioning of the camera and what he was permitted to film during the court proceedings (including zooming in on the counsel table), (2) how he sought to comply with those instructions, (3) the specific steps that he took to minimize and/or avoid filming what appeared on the computer monitors at defense counsel’s table, (4) what was represented to the parties, counsel, and the Court about Law & Crime’s efforts in this regard, and (5) whether the partially cropped view of Ms. Troconis’ laptop monitor on February 15, 2024 was wholly inadvertent.”
The motion states that the videographer’s testimony will show he took steps not to show anything from the computer monitors, “which would undermine the State’s current claim that the trial participants (including Ms. Troconis) knew or had reason to believe that virtually anything placed on a laptop screen would be seen by the public on the Law & Crime live stream.”
Another motion requests a bill of particulars from the prosecution, meaning details of the allegations, so that Troconis may have "adequate notice of the conduct alleged, a more precise statement of the nature of the charge, and prepare her defense for trial."
Troconis' father, one of her sisters, and her close friend were in attendance and made a brief statement outside the courthouse.
“We're just here to support my sister in this, these difficult times. We’ll continue fighting for her and allow the proceedings to play out with the legal counsel we've had assigned to them,” Claudia Troconis-Marmol told reporters, adding that she would not address the contempt case or take questions.
Jennifer Dulos' close friend, Carrie Luft, who alerted trial prosecutors to concerns about what Troconis had on her laptop monitor, was also at court for the brief hearing.
Troconis returns to Stamford Superior Court for the contempt case on Sept. 16, but she’ll be back there before then as she seeks a public defender to appeal her convictions on conspiracy to commit murder, tampering with physical evidence, conspiracy to commit tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution. In May, Troconis was sentenced to 14 ½ years in prison and is being held at York Correctional Institution.
A contempt of court charge is a misdemeanor and carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail.


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