Five years ago Michelle Troconis conspired to help her boyfriend kill his estranged wife Jennifer Dulos. Now she learns her fate

Michelle Troconis listens to victim impact statements at her sentencing on May 31 2024 for her role in the Jennifer Dulos murder case (Law&Crime)
Michelle Troconis listens to victim impact statements at her sentencing on May 31 2024 for her role in the Jennifer Dulos murder case (Law&Crime)

Petros Dulos, the 17-year-old child of Jennifer Dulos, faced the woman accused of conspiring to murder his mother and told her she’d ruined his young life.

“My mom said to leave everything better than you found it. You did the opposite and should be punished,” Petros told the Connecticut courtroom.

Michelle Troconis is being sentenced on Friday for conspiring with her former boyfriend Fotis Dulos to kill Connecticut mother-of-five Jennifer Dulos and cover up the crime.

“My mother was everything to me,” Jennifer’s eldest child said. “I am upset that I will never know the man I would’ve become if my mother was here to guide me. She was my hero.”

Treconis watched Petros as he gave his impact statement to the court, followed by his brother and grandmother.

After three days of deliberations, a jury convicted Troconis in March of conspiracy to commit murder, two counts of tampering with physical evidence, two counts of conspiracy to commit tampering with physical evidence and second-degree hindering prosecution after an eight-week trial and 27 days of testimony.

She faced up to 50 years in prison if a judge applies the sentences to the charges consecutively.

The sentencing comes five years after her then-boyfriend’s estranged wife Jennifer Dulos disappeared on 24 May 2019 after dropping their children off at school in New Canaan, Connecticut.

While Jennifer’s body has never been found, she has been officially declared dead – with police finding that she died a violent death at the hands of Fotis, the man she had filed for divorce from just two years earlier.

Michelle Troconis, left, and Fotis Dulos, right, were arrested in 2019 charges of evidence tampering and hindering prosecution in the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos. Fotis killed himself while awaiting trial (New Canaan Police Department via AP)
Michelle Troconis, left, and Fotis Dulos, right, were arrested in 2019 charges of evidence tampering and hindering prosecution in the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos. Fotis killed himself while awaiting trial (New Canaan Police Department via AP)

Authorities believe Fotis killed Jennifer at her home after she dropped her children at school and then disposed of her body. In January 2020, Fotis died by suicide after being charged with Jennifer’s murder.

Troconis has long insisted that she did not know Fotis was doing anything nefarious as she watched him toss garbage bags into random bins, or as she helped him write up a timeline of their whereabouts on the day his estranged wife disappeared.

She did not testify during the 27-day trial. Her lawyer, Jon Schoenhorn, said the prosecution did not prove any of their allegations beyond a reasonable doubt, including whether Fotis Dulos killed Jennifer Dulos or even if he was in New Canaan that morning.

“She did not know that Fotis Dulos planned to harm her,” Schoenhorn told the jury during the trial.

This undated contributed photo, courtesy of the Farber family, shows Jennifer Farber Dulos. She was last seen alive on May 24, 2019 (AP)
This undated contributed photo, courtesy of the Farber family, shows Jennifer Farber Dulos. She was last seen alive on May 24, 2019 (AP)

"The state has made, what I would suggest, are unfounded and unfair assumptions and have speculated that Michelle Troconis had to know what was going on because she was romantically linked with Fotis, that she was somehow involved in this nefarious, murderous plot.

“But that’s not reality,” he said. “That’s more like one of these cable TV movies, scripted movies. It’s not based on the facts that you heard during this trial.”

What started as a missing persons case turned into a massive search and investigation that captured media attention from around the world. Jennifer’s disappearance inspired numerous documentaries, a Lifetime movie “Gone Mom,” and a law that broadened the definition of domestic violence in Connecticut.

Jennifer was a member of a wealthy New York City family and a niece by marriage of fashion designer Liz Claiborne. Although her body has never been found, a medical examiner concluded suspected blood spatter in her garage and other evidence indicated she could not have survived. A state judge declared her officially dead in October.

Gloria Farber, Jennifer Dulos’s mother, told WTNH in a recent interview, that she believed Troconis “absolutely” lied to investigators and that she likely knows where her daughter is.

Gloria Farber, Jennifer Dulos’s mother, said she believed Troconis “absolutely” lied to investigators about the whereabouts of Jennifer’s body (Hearst Connecticut Media)
Gloria Farber, Jennifer Dulos’s mother, said she believed Troconis “absolutely” lied to investigators about the whereabouts of Jennifer’s body (Hearst Connecticut Media)

Yet, she does not believe Troconis will ever tell the family what happened to her body.

“I think she knows where Jennifer is,” Ms Farber said.

She told the outlet that she can still not believe what happened to her daughter.

“I don’t know what made him just absolutely go off the rails,” she continued.

Ms Farber now has custody of the couple’s five children, who live with her in New York City.

“I think about her every day. She poured all her wisdom and all her joy into her children,” she said.

“Her life was cut short, but she, in that short life, became a great person. She amazed me, she always amazed me.”

Troconis has been held on $6 million bond since her conviction. Her attorney has said she will appeal the convictions after sentencing.

Kent Mawhinney, a second defendant in the case, who was an attorney and a close friend to Fotis Dulos, is also charged with conspiracy to commit murder. His trial date has not yet been set.

Last Friday marked five years since Jennifer’s disappearance.

Carrie Luft, Jennifer’s friend who has also served as a spokesperson for her family, said the five-year anniversary was “not a milestone but a marker of cumulative loss and longing.”

“Life goes on, yet grief goes on alongside it, a shadow, a current, the presence of absence.”

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