The chief lawyer representing Fotis Dulos, the man who faced murder charges in connection with his missing estranged wife Jennifer Dulos, says he'll fight to clear his now deceased client’s name.
Dulos, 52, was declared dead at 5:32 pm Thursday, his lawyer Norm Pattis told Oxygen.com in a statement. His death came two days after he was found unresponsive in a car parked in his garage, after he had failed to show up for an emergency hearing related to his $6 million bond on Tuesday.
The Farmington Police Department said in a press release provided to Oxygen.com that their officers found him in a state "obvious medical distress" in his car. He was rushed to the Bronx’s Jacobi Medical Center where he had been listed in critical condition while being treated for carbon monoxide poisoning. A medical examiner will determine his official cause of death, police added.
In the meantime, Dulos' former defense counsel continues to vocally defend him in spite of his death.
“Mr. Dulos was tried and convicted in the court of public opinion,” the statement from Pattis said after his client's death. “Now he has been executed. We remain committed to demonstrating he did not murder Jennifer.”
Pattis echoed that sentiment during a Thursday evening press conference.
“It will be a difficult challenge to persuade the state of Connecticut to go forward with a trial in the absence of a defendant,” he said. “We're asking for the right to clear his name.”
Pattis stressed that the suicide attempt was not an admission of guilt. Dulos reportedly insisted he was innocent in a note found at his home after his suicide attempt.
Pattis told NBC New York Friday that he was “heartbroken” over his client’s death – even vowing to fight the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if his motion for an acquittal failed in the lower courts.
A statement from Carrie Luft, on behalf of the Jennifer Dulos’ family and friends, described his death as a "horrific tragedy all around,” according to NBC New York.
Jennifer Dulos disappeared last May during a contentious custody battle with Fotis Dulos, in which she expressed fear of retaliation by her estranged husband. The couple have five children, who have been staying with Jennifer Dulos’ mother since her disappearance.
Jennifer’s body has not been found, but police have asserted in court documents that she is dead and that Fotis killed her. An arrest warrant issued by investigators alleged that Dulos was “lying in wait” for Jennifer the day she vanished and that “the crime and clean-up are believed to have occurred” shortly after. A Connecticut State Police arrest warrant, obtained by Oxygen.com, asserts that — although Jennifer’s body was never found — she likely suffered “non-survivable” injuries in her garage, which "likely include some combination of traumatic, blunt-force injuries such as bludgeoning/beating, and/or sharp-force injuries such as a stabbing/slashing."
Dulos wasn’t the only person facing charges in Jennifer's disappearance: his former girlfriend Michelle Troconis and his former civil lawyer Kent Douglas Mawhinney have both been charged with conspiracy to commit murder in the case.