Start of Michelle Troconis trial pushed to Thursday after another juror dismissed

One juror dropped out of the trial on Thursday due financial hardship after he lost his job.

Marissa Alter

Jan 4, 2024, 9:27 PM

Updated 139 days ago


Michelle Troconis’ trial in connection to the disappearance and presumed death of Jennifer Dulos will now begin Thursday, Jan. 11, rather than on Monday, Jan. 8. Judge Kevin Randolph pushed the start three days, so additional alternate jurors could be chosen.
The judge’s decision came during a last-minute hearing where another juror was excused. News 12 was in the courtroom as that juror told the court he'd unexpectedly lost his job, so serving would be a financial hardship. The dismissal leaves six regular jurors and just two alternate jurors. Initially, six alternates were chosen. Randolph also said another juror has COVID-19, which could be an issue, so he wants to add more alternates before things get underway. Jury selection will pick back up on Tuesday and Wednesday, but the judge said evidence will be presented Thursday regardless of if they pick any additional alternate jurors.
Troconis has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit murder, evidence tampering, conspiracy to evidence tamper and hindering prosecution in the Jennifer Dulos case. The mother of five was last seen dropping her kids off at school in New Canaan on May 24, 2019. Connecticut State Police believe Jennifer Dulos' estranged husband, Fotis Dulos, killed her in her home, then got rid of her body, which has never been found. Fotis Dulos, who was Troconis' boyfriend at the time, was arrested on several charges including murder and kidnapping, but he died by suicide in January 2020. That left Troconis and Kent Mawhinney, Fotis Dulos’ friend and former attorney, as the remaining defendants in the case. Mawhinney is also charged with conspiracy to commit murder and has pleaded not guilty.
Troconis is the first to go on trial. Jury selection happened back in October after the defense filed a motion for a speedy trial, which was granted. But evidence couldn’t be presented right after jury selection because there were still multiple pending motions from the defense to suppress evidence at trial.
Troconis’ attorney, Jon Schoenhorn, was concerned that such a large gap between jury selection and the trial would mean they'd lose jurors and be in the situation they are right now. Schoenhorn raised the issue in the fall and again objected to the process on the record during the hearing. Schoenhorn also asked that the case be dismissed due to the three-day delay and was denied. Jurors were told the Troconis’ trial may go until March 1.

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