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Michelle Troconis found guilty in disappearance of Connecticut mother Jennifer Dulos

Michelle Troconis guilty of conspiring to kill Jennifer Dulos
Michelle Troconis guilty of conspiring to kill Jennifer Dulos 03:30

STAMFORD, Conn. -- Michelle Troconis was convicted on all counts Friday in the murder of Jennifer Dulos, nearly five years after the Connecticut mother of five went missing.

After deliberating for about 14 hours, the jury of three men and three women found Troconis guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, tampering with evidence and hindering the prosecution.

Specifically, the jury found that she conspired with Fotis Dulos to murder his estranged wife, lied to provide an alibi for him and helped him dispose of bloody evidence. 

Inside the courtroom

Special Report: Michelle Troconis found guilty 13:14

Troconis hung her head and started to sob, with her parents and sisters sitting directly behind her in the courtroom. As soon as the final verdict was read, she dropped into her chair and put her head down on the table.

Across the courtroom, the loved ones of Jennifer Dulos appeared to be relieved. 

As Troconis was led out of the courtroom, she asked if she could please say goodbye to her family, but was only allowed to say a few words in Spanish.

Prosecutors argued Troconis came to hate Jennifer Dulos, who was in a costly divorce and custody battle with Fotis Dulos. 

Defense attorney Jon Schoenhorn said the case was built on speculation and guesswork. 

"I truly just don't see how the jury could have reached this verdict," said Schoenhorn. "We're going to challenge whether or not the trial had errors that should be reconsidered, and if not reconsidered in this court then we'll go to the appellate or supreme court." 

Lauren Almeida, a longtime nanny who is now like a mom to the five Dulos children, left court smiling. 

Families react to verdict

Michelle Troconis' family members insist she is innocent after guilty verdict 06:20

Troconis' distraught parents and sisters addressed reporters outside the courthouse, insisting she is innocent.

"I came many years ago to this country looking for opportunities, freedom and justice. And I moved my whole family here, I have eight grandchildren [who are] American. And today we are here, devastated, because there has been a tremendous injustice in the trial of my daughter," said Dr. Carlos Troconis, her father. "She is innocent, and we will keep proving that forever."

"I know that everyone wanted answers, I know that maybe this day is happy that they finally convicted her, or someone is paying for the price. But she is not the right one," said Troconis' sister Claudia Troconis, fighting back tears.

A spokesperson for the friends and family of Jennifer Dulos shared a statement, calling the verdict a "crucial attribution of accountability, not a victory."

"There can be no victory when five children are growing up without their mother. This verdict represents the meticulous collection, analysis, and presentation of evidence to illuminate an unconscionable series of crimes. That immense body of evidence also serves to highlight the gaps that remain in this case-most important, that Jennifer Farber Dulos still has not been found," the statement continued. "We have lost a mother, daughter, sister, cousin, and cherished friend. Jennifer's loved ones cannot bury her next to her father."

Case against Troconis

Disappearance of Jennifer Dulos: Michelle Troconis trial had many twists and turns 02:24

Troconis was accused of helping her boyfriend, Fotis Dulos, kill his estranged wife in 2019 and covering up the crime. Fotis Dulos was charged with murder in the case but later died by suicide.

Over the course of the month-long trial, jurors heard from dozens of witnesses and from Troconis herself in three separate interviews with Connecticut State Police. 

In those interviews, Troconis changed her story -- first saying she was home with Fotis Dulos on the day of Jennifer Dulos' disappearance, before eventually admitting that was not true.  

Another surveillance video showed Fotis Dulos dispose of bloody evidence, and Troconis could be seen wiping her hand on the ground. She claimed she was wiping gum off her hand, but prosecutors made the case that she knew what was going on and helped with the disposal.   

The big question in the case was the top charge of murder conspiracy -- a class B felony that carries up to 20 years in prison. 

The judge raised Troconis' bail from $2.1 million to $6 million. If she is able to pay, she will be placed on house arrest.

Her sentencing is set for May 31. If the charges run concurrently, she could face up to 20 years. If they run consecutively, that would add up to 50 years.

Disappearance of Jennifer Dulos

ct-missing-woman.jpg
Jennifer Dulos, 50, was last seen on May 24, 2019 in New Canaan, Conn. New Canaan Police Department/Facebook  

The guilty verdict against Troconis came 1,743 days after Jennifer Dulos vanished from her New Canaan home.

The 50-year-old was reported missing in May 2019 after dropping her kids off at school. She and Fotis Dulos were in the midst of a bitter and expensive divorce and custody battle

Proseuctors walked the jury through a complicated timeline -- with Fotis Dulos taking an employee's truck and parking it in New Canaan, then riding a bike to Jennifer Dulos' home and killing her in the garage, disposing of the body in an unknown location using her SUV, and then abandoning that vehicle and returning to his mansion in Farmington.

Fotis Dulos and his girlfriend, Troconis, were arrested the following week on charges of tampering with physical evidence and hindering the prosecution. He pleaded not guilty and posted bond, and he was ordered to wear a GPS tracking device on his ankle.  

In January 2020, police arrested Fotis Dulos and Troconis again, charging him with murder and her with conspiracy to commit murder, along with his civil attorney, Kent Mawhinney.

Three weeks later, Fotis Dulos was due to appear in court for a bail hearing but was found unresponsive at his home. He was rushed to the hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning but died two days later of an apparent suicide.

Meanwhile, Jennifer Dulos' body has never been found, but she is presumed dead. Police said there was enough evidence of bloodshed in her garage to suggest she did not survive, as well as evidence suggesting a potential attempt to clean up the scene. 

Jennifer Dulos left behind five children, who are now in the care of their 88-year-old grandmother.  

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