The state believes Jennifer Dulos has died and wants her estranged husband to reveal where her remains can be found, his defense attorney said late Tuesday.
But Norm Pattis said his client can’t help — and vowed to take the charges related to the disappearance to trial.
Fotis Dulos returned to his Farmington home late Tuesday after posting $35,150 bond and pleading not guilty in state Superior Court in Stamford to tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution charges. He had been lodged for 10 days at the Bridgeport Correctional Center since his arrest.
Jennifer Dulos was last seen around 8 a.m. May 24 when she dropped off her five children at New Canaan Country School. Her disappearance is still officially being treated as a missing persons case.
But behind closed doors, Pattis said authorities believe Jennifer Dulos has died — and that Fotis Dulos was involved.
In a failed effort to have the defendant’s bond increased, State’s Attorney Richard Colangelo told Judge John Blawie on Tuesday that new evidence shows Fotis Dulos’ DNA was found mixed with his estranged wife’s blood in a kitchen sink in her New Canaan home.
“When I talked to Attorney Colangelo, he expressed an interest in the location of the body,” Pattis said in an interview Tuesday. “I said ‘We don’t know.’”
Pattis vowed to take the case to trial.
“We’re definitely going to go to trial,” he said. “At 51 years old, they’re not going to offer him anything less than an effective life sentence.
“He’s deeply wounded by the allegations against him and concerned about the mother of his children. He’s a man who misses his children.”
As part of the conditions of his release, Fotis Dulos was fitted with a GPS tracker and banned from contacting his children and family members of his estranged wife. He’s also not allowed to leave the state.
Before posting bond, Fotis Dulos attended a divorce hearing in family court where he used his Fifth Amendment right to avoid testifying as Jennifer Dulos’ mother, Gloria Farber, was seeking custody of the children.
The children who range in age from 8 to 13 will remain in Farber’s care until a judge issues a written ruling.
Jennifer Dulos’ family released a statement Tuesday night, saying her children “long to know where their mother is.”
“As the news cycle propels the story of Jennifer’s disappearance forward, we must not lose sight of the enormous human cost of this tragedy: five young children have not seen their mother in 18 days,” the statement read. “Jennifer is the constant presence in their lives. She has sole physical custody and has devoted her full energies to their care and happiness.”
During the criminal court hearing, Colangelo said Fotis Dulos’ DNA was found mixed with his wife’s blood on the faucet of a kitchen sink in her Welles Lane home.
In court, Pattis countered this revelation, claiming the DNA could have been left from a visit with his children two nights before Jennifer Dulos disappeared.
“He was present at the home with his children for dinner a few days earlier, it’s hardly surprising that there would be trace DNA,” Pattis said.
Several witnesses from that night, however, claim Fotis Dulos never went inside the home during that get-together, Colangelo said.
Considering the new evidence, Colangelo argued for bond to be increased to $850,000, while Pattis requested it be reduced to $100,000.
Blawie denied both requests and kept bail at $500,000.
Fotis Dulos paid $35,150 — or 7 percent plus a $150 fee — to Mark Motuzick from Capital Bail Bonds, which, in turn, guarantees the court that it will receive from him the full amount if he fails to show up to court.
After turning over his passport — which defense attorney Rich Rochlin had to fetch on his behalf — Fotis Dulos posted bail late Tuesday afternoon.
Pattis said Fotis Dulos would stay at 4 Jefferson Crossing in Farmington initially, but could relocate considering the intense interest in the case.
New searches of his Jefferson Crossing home or his other properties will require new search warrants.
Fotis Dulos and his girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, each pleaded not guilty Tuesday when they were arraigned on charges of tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution. Both requested a trial by jury. Troconis is scheduled to return to court on July 18 and Dulos on Aug. 2.
Blawie denied Pattis’ request to have his law firm take control of Fotis Dulos’ 401(k) for assurance purposes.
In his third and final motion, Pattis asked to have the trial expedited to August.
“Mr. Dulos is tired of sitting back and hearing people pick apart his motives,” Pattis said. “We are ready for trial now.”
The judge said that would require “significant discovery” and Fotis Dulos is not yet eligible for such a request.
The state’s speedy trial law says a defendant out on bond must be brought to trial within 30 days after filing a motion in a case where charges have been pending for at least a year.
“If he becomes eligible then, I assure you, the court will accommodate him,” Blawie said.
Pattis said the trial should come as soon as possible given the intense speculation in the case.
“You’ve picked this fight,” Pattis said afterward. “Let’s have it. Let’s get it on.”
Pattis, a controversial New Haven lawyer who represents Infowars host Alex Jones and was condemned for racial Facebook posts, said the state lacks evidence connecting his client to the crime.
Pattis acknowledged during an interview late Tuesday that it wasn’t a surprise his client has come under suspicion.
“There are awkward and anomalous facts in this case and there are explanations for some of them,” he said. “I’m not suggesting that the state picked Mr. Dulos at random for prosecution. It has its reasons.”
Still, Fotis Dulos maintains his innocence, Pattis said.
“We resolutely deny that Mr. Dulos had anything to do with the disappearance of his wife,” he said. “We will address forcefully and vigorously any accusations that he was.”
Troconis’ attorney, Andrew Bowman, argued inaccurate reporting by the media has prejudiced his client.
“I don’t need to remind you, that Michelle Troconis is presumed innocent and when you put out inaccurate information in the electronic and print media, it prejudices her right to a fair trial,” he said outside the courthouse.
On Monday, Pattis claimed Troconis was not in New Canaan on May 24 when Jennifer Dulos disappeared.
“I’m told by people with information that the girlfriend was never at the New Canaan home that day — the day the wife went missing — and that she can prove she never was there and that law enforcement may be satisfied,” Pattis said Monday on WPLR’s “Chaz & AJ” radio show. “That is a very significant fact in this case.”
Bowman walked away when he was asked Tuesday about where his client was on May 24.
Since being released on bail on June 3, Troconis has met with investigators at least twice, but claims to have no idea where to find Jennifer Dulos, a law enforcement source told the Hartford Courant. In court Tuesday, Pattis claimed neither Troconis, nor her lawyer, would reveal any details of those meetings.
Jennifer Dulos was last seen around 8 a.m. May 24 when she dropped off her five children at New Canaan Country School. After missing several doctor’s appointments, she was reported missing around 7 p.m. that night.
Around the same time, Fotis Dulos and Troconis were seen on video tossing garbage bags in more than 30 receptacles in a four-mile stretch in Hartford, according to their arrest warrants. The bags contained items with Jennifer Dulos’ blood on them, the warrants said.
Pattis said he hasn’t had a chance to review the videos yet.
Police said they found Jennifer Dulos’ Chevy Suburban abandoned on Lapham Road near Waveny Park, a few miles from her Welles Lane home, soon after she was reported missing.
Police said they also found blood spatter and signs of a “serious physical assault” inside Jennifer Dulos’ garage.
Since the disappearance, authorities have focused their searches on Waveny Park, a Hartford garbage dump and the properties connected to Fotis Dulos’ custom homebuilding company, the Fore Group.
Police searched a metal dumpster last week outside a New Canaan home developed by the Fore Group. Neighbors of 61 Sturbridge Hill Road said they were woken up by the loud sounds of metal banging in the predawn hours the morning after Jennifer Dulos went missing.
Police have also made several visits to 4 Jefferson Crossing in Farmington, where Fotis Dulos lived with Troconis and her daughter after Jennifer Dulos and her children moved out when she filed for divorce in 2017.