Fotis Dulos appeared in court Thursday and the judge has changed the conditions of his release to strict house arrest. The decision was issued after prosecutors filed a motion saying Dulos violated terms of his release by getting out of his car and removing items from a memorial for his missing wife, Jennifer Dulos.
Outside court on Thursday Dulos' attorney, Norm Pattis, said he is disappointed in the decision.
Pattis had also been seeking to waive a probable cause hearing on charges connected to the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos and the judge granted that. Pattis said he hopes to try the case in September.
What to Know
- Jennifer Dulos, a mother of five, has been missing since May 24. Police said they found blood and evidence of attempts to clean up a crime scene at her New Canaan home.
- Jennifer's estranged husband, Fotis Dulos, has been charged with murder, felony murder and kidnapping, as well as evidence tampering and hindering prosecution charges in the disappearance.
- The state’s attorney filed a motion to change the conditions of Fotis Dulos' release, claiming he violated the terms.
State’s Attorney Rich Colangelo claimed in the filing that Dulos is not complying with his terms of release, citing an incident where he got out of his vehicle on his way to his home on Jefferson Crossing in Farmington on Jan. 17.
“On January 17, 2020, the defendant left this home, on the way back home he was observed stopping at the end of Jefferson Crossing, get out of his vehicle and remove items from a memorial that was set up,” the filing states.
“Make it perfectly clear to Mr. Dulos what he can and can’t do in clear black and white language that he understands that if he leaves here he’ll know that he shouldn’t make this stop. It shouldn’t be that hard but apparently it is,” Colangelo said in court Thursday.
“Yes I am worried about it this is a bad day for us,” Pattis said.
Pattis told the judge his client was being taunted by the memorial as he cited several posts made on the private Facebook page "Where is Jennifer Dulos."
Fotis Dulos has been charged with murder, felony murder and kidnapping, as well as evidence tampering and hindering prosecution charges in the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos, a mother of five who has been missing since May. The original conditions of his release stated that Fotis be under GPS monitoring with house arrest and only leave his home for specific approved reasons.
On Thursday, the judge said what Dulos did was "stupid" and he removed the option for Dulos to leave the house for work.
Pattis asked the judge to reconsider and the judge declined.
Outside Stamford Superior Court, Pattis said he was disappointed by the ruling.
"I remind the supporters, Jennifer is missing. She may be presumed dead as far as they're concerned, we've yet to see persuasive evidence of that," Pattis said.
He also said that a man talked his way into Dulos’ Farmington home around the holidays pretending to help his client. Pattis said that man is now trying to sell copies of the recorded conversations.
“I know who you are, we’re watching what you’re doing you don’t have evidence related to Mr. Dulos. The state has it and hasn’t shared it yet,” Pattis said.
Despite the latest developments, Pattis said his confidence rests in the 12 jurors who will see the case through.
“When we have the jury and we have an orderly courtroom proceeding committed to deciding this case by the rule of law, we are extremely confident in our odds,” Pattis said.
The arrest warrant for Fotis Dulos says the office of the chief medical examiner, based on lab results and information presented about the case, indicated that due to the degree of blood loss and other factors, "he was prepared to state that Jennifer Dulos had sustained injury (or multiple injuries) which he would consider 'non-survivable' without medical intervention."
"We have a plan to attack this case and we will be looking for a trial as quickly as possible," Pattis said.
While speaking outside court, Pattis also addressed the gag order in place in the case. He went to the state Supreme Court seeking for it to be revoked.
"We are calling on the Connecticut Supreme Court by way of this statement to make haste on its ruling with respect to our gag order. Mr. Dulos remains the preoccupation of many malefactors who are intent on demonstrating his guilt on the absence of persuasive evidence to that," Pattis said.
"We'd like to speak freely. We are limited in what we can say," Pattis added.
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF JENNIFER DULOS
Jennifer Dulos was living at 69 Welles Lane in New Canaan when she disappeared on May 24, 2019. The last report of anyone seeing her was when she dropped her children off at school that morning.
The missing person report came in just before 7 p.m. that day.
Friends and family members told police that they hadn’t been able to reach her, and she’d missed several doctor’s appointments in New York City.
While officers were in Jennifer’s home, they found no sign of her, but they did find bloodstains on the garage floor and on a vehicle located in the garage, according to the arrest warrant.
That led police to believe the home was a crime scene and they said there was evidence of attempts to clean it up.
CHARGES AGAINST FOTIS DULOS
On Jan. 7, Fotius Dulos was arrested and charged with murder, felony murder and kidnapping in connection with his estranged wife’s disappearance.
He was previously charged with two counts of tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution in the first degree. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Two months earlier, in July, Fotis sat down for an exclusive interview with NBC New York, his first after Jennifer disappeared, and said he has to stand and fight and “hope the truth is going to come out.
"No one knows where Jennifer is," Pattis said Thursday. "The state is trying to put together a case that Mr. Dulos is responsible for that murder, or for that disappearance, and we take the position there is insufficient evidence to conclude that she's even dead."
Police have a dedicated website on the search for Jennifer Dulos. They have set up a tipline at 203-594-3544 as well as a dedicated email address, firstname.lastname@example.org.