Troconis jury hears about blood evidence, Fotis Dulos’ visitation with kids before wife's disappearance
The jury in the Michelle Troconis trial heard about the interaction between Troconis’ then-boyfriend, Fotis Dulos, and his estranged wife just two days before she disappeared. On Thursday, Day 15 of Troconis’ trial, a court-appointed parental supervisor took the stand. Sidnee Streater explained her job on May 22, 2019, was to keep Fotis Dulos in sight and in earshot during his visitation with his five children. Fotis Dulos and Jennifer Dulos were in the midst of a contentious divorce and custody battle when she vanished.
“Fotis was not allowed to be on Jennifer’s property until the supervisor was present for the visit. He also was supposed to leave prior to the supervisor leaving at the end of the visit,” Streater testified.
“Was he allowed into her residence?" asked Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Michelle Manning.
“He was not allowed into the residence,” Streater answered.
She told the jury that on that day, Fotis Dulos met the kids in the driveway at 69 Welles Lane, in New Canaan, where the kids ran over to him.
“They noticed that Fotis had a new haircut. They joked about it, and then they all went and jumped on him and rubbed his head,” Streater recalled.
She said he interacted with Jennifer Dulos briefly, describing it as cordial. Streater said Fotis Dulos brought chocolate bunnies for the kids and when Jennifer Dulos joked about how she eats chocolate every day, he broke off a piece for her, which she ate.
“It was pretty amicable,” Streater stated.
"Did they shake hands?" Manning asked. “Did they hug each other? Did they touch in any way?”
Streater replied no to all three questions.
She explained there an itinerary for the visit, which was required, and on that day Fotis Dulos took the kids to Grace Farms in New Canaan to play basketball. When they returned, they had dinner at the picnic table in the backyard with food that Fotis Dulos brought. Streater said Jennifer Dulos didn’t join them for dinner. She also stated Fotis Dulos never went into the garage or the house.
But Connecticut State Police believe Fotis Dulos did two days later, killing his estranged wife, then disposing of her body, which has never been found. The jury heard previous testimony that Fotis Dulos' DNA was found on a doorknob from the garage into the house and on the kitchen sink faucet.
On cross-examination, Troconis' attorney tried to suggest the DNA could've been transferred into Jennifer Dulos’ house from a cake left by Fotis Dulos, his dinner with his kids or their physical contact.
“They hugged?” Schoenhorn asked. “He kissed his children?” Streater said he did, and the kids hugged and kissed Fotis Dulos back.
Schoenhorn also focused on how the estranged couple appeared to be getting along on that day.
“The entire interaction between Mr. Dulos and his wife was cordial as far as you were concerned, correct? And they talked in a normal tone?” Schoenhorn asked.
“Yes,” Streater replied to both questions.
Schoenhorn also pointed out Streater had never met Troconis before. In fact, Troconis wasn’t mentioned during any of the testimony Thursday. She’s accused of plotting with Fotis Dulos to kill Jennifer Dulos, helping him try to hide the crime, and lying to police. Troconis has pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit murder, evidence tampering, conspiracy to commit evidence tampering, and hindering prosecution.
After Streater’s testimony, the prosecution called retired state forensic scientist Christine Roy to the stand. Her testimony, which was very technical, covered most of the day. Roy explained she tested evidence police seized pulled from trash bins on Albany Avenue in Hartford for blood and other biological fluids.
The jury again physically saw a couple of the items, rather than just pictures of them. Roy held up a striped shirt and bra that were covered in reddish-brown stains and cut down the middle. Police believe Jennifer Dulos was wearing those when she died. Roy testified she did confirmatory blood testing on both items.
“It was positive so therefore I could say human blood was detected,” Roy explained.
She also said she did confirmatory blood testing and got a positive on a white hardish material with stains.
Roy also held up a stained bra and testified she got the same result for that item.
She said she did a screening test for blood on other items like a stained poncho, towel, and zip ties but never did additional testing to confirm human blood because the sample was small and needed to be sent to the DNA unit.
Roy also testified about doing blood screening tests on swabs taken from the interior door panel of a red 2001 Toyota Tacoma. Police believe Fotis Dulos used the pickup truck, which was owned by one of his employees, in the presumed murder of his wife. Roy said she got a positive for some of the swabs, but others came back negative.
Roy also testified about swabbing several items for touch DNA and sending those on the DNA Unit at the state forensic science lab. That included the Tacoma’s license plates and screws, the altered license plates found in a FedEx envelope in a drain, and the tied knot of the black garbage bag that contained the blood-stained shirt and bra.
Roy’s testimony is expected to continue Friday.