The estranged husband at the center of an intense police investigation into the disappearance of New Canaan mother Jennifer Farber Dulos has hired a prominent lawyer to handle his case.
Attorney Norm Pattis said Saturday that he will be in Stamford Superior Court Tuesday when Fotis Dulos is arraigned on charges of hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence. He has been held on a $500,000 bond at the Bridgeport Correctional Center since his arrest on June 1.
“Trial by innuendo has convicted my client,” Pattis said Saturday. “We will opt for a trial by jury.”
Attorney Kevin Smith, Pattis’ partner, met with Dulos in prison late Friday night. Bridgeport attorney Eugene Riccio represented Dulos during his first court appearance in Norwalk on June 3 and has been trying to secure a bond for Dulos since then. He was representing him for bond purposes only.
Pattis is no stranger to high-profile cases. He represents Alex Jones, who is being sued by the Sandy Hook victims families claiming that he has purposely spread the story that the shooting was staged. The families allege that Jones has profited from doing so.
On Sunday, state police detectives returned to a Hartford trash facility looking for evidence in the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos, now missing for over two weeks.
Sources said police also are trying to determine why Fotis Dulos is covered in a poison ivy rash and where he may have gotten it. They noticed the poison ivy last week when they executed a body search warrant on him and took his DNA.
Detectives, along with K-9 dogs, have been sifting through mounds of trash from the Albany Avenue area searching for bags police allege were dumped there by Dulos on the night of May 24, the day his wife disappeared. Police found bloody clothes and sponges in some of the bags, and DNA testing matched it to Jennifer Dulos.
Two people matching the description of Fotis Dulos and his girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, were recorded on video, according to court records released last Monday.
The video shows a man resembling Fotis Dulos dumping as many as 30 garbage bags into trash bins and dumpsters along Albany Avenue at 7:15 p.m. on the day that Jennifer Dulos disappeared, court records said. A woman resembling Troconis at one point is seen on video sitting in the passenger seat of a car as the man throws out the bags.
Troconis has also been charged with hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence in the case. She is free on a $500,000 bond.
Police have spent days searching locations in Farmington, New Canaan and Hartford. On Friday, detectives met Troconis and her attorney Andrew Bowman at Fotis Dulos’ home at 4 Jefferson Crossing in Farmington and walked through the property with them. Police also spent time combing through the vast woods behind the house.
On Saturday, there appeared to be little police activity at the Jefferson Crossing home, which is located in a neighborhood of luxury homes near Avon Mountain.
Police have also searched, and in some cases re-searched, properties affiliated with Fotis Dulos’ home building company, The Fore Group. They’ve searched a house on Sturbridge Hill Road in New Canaan and several properties in New Canaan.
The Dulos’ five children also returned briefly to their New Canaan private school, where their mother was last seen dropping them off on May 24. The children are now staying with Jennifer Dulos’ mother, Gloria Farber, in her New York City apartment under armed guard.
For the past two years, Fotis Dulos and Jennifer Dulos had been locked in a bitter divorce and fight over custody of the children, who have been living with their grandmother since their mother went missing.
On Thursday, Troconis met with Stamford State’s Attorney Richard Colangelo and state police detectives at Bowman’s law offices. Sources said she didn’t give them any information that could help them find Jennifer Dulos. It was unclear why they brought her to Farmington on Friday.
At the trash-to-energy plant, state police did recover some of the material Fotis Dulos allegedly discarded in Hartford. Since last week’s garbage pickup was delayed by one day because of Memorial Day, most of the trash from the Albany Avenue area had not been incinerated.
State police are expected to continue the search into next week.