Michelle Troconis remained expressionless in court as jurors were shown surveillance video of what appeared to be the socialite riding around with her then-boyfriend Fotis Dulos as he disposed of several trash bags on the same day his estranged wife vanished.
At the time of Jennifer Dulos’s disappearance in May 2019, the Connecticut mother-of-five was in the midst of a bitter divorce and custody battle with Mr Dulos. Investigators allege he killed her in the garage of her home and Ms Troconis helped him cover up the murder.
Ms Troconis, 49, is now standing trial in Stamford, Connecticut where she faces charges of conspiracy to commit murder and evidence tampering and hindering prosecution.
On day seven of the weeks-long proceedings, the court was shown footage from the City of Hartford’s surveillance cameras that captured a man who investigators believe was Mr Dulos riding around the town in a black Ford Raptor pickup truck with Ms Troconis just hours after the alleged attack.
Joshua Quint, who was working with the Hartford Police Department in 2019, also took the stand on Monday and walked the jury through the timeline of the surveillance videos.
In one clip, the truck is seen pulling over on the side of Albany Avenue and while Mr Dulos gets out on the driver’s side, Ms Troconis opens the passenger door. Mr Dulos is then seen walking over to the trash bin where he tosses something inside and then walks closer to the truck where he slips what’s later revealed to be license plates through the slats of a sewer grate.
In the same clip, the woman in the front seat believed to be Ms Troconis is seen leaning over the sewer grate before they both get in the truck and drive away.
Another clip shows a man in a red shirt rummaging through a trash can where Mr Dulos had just disposed of unknown items. The man removed an item that appeared to have a large blood-like stain on it. He puts it back and walks away.
Trooper Brett Attmore, one of the officers who took the stand Monday, confirmed to the court that they had identified the man, but no further information was provided.
According to police, the pair disposed of 30 bags of items that day and some were recovered with police finding clothing, zip ties and other items with Jennifer Dulos’s DNA. One of the bags had Ms Troconis’s DNA on it, police said.
Sgt Michael Beautom, who processed the vehicle that Mr Dulos drove around Hartford as disposed of garbage bags, told the court that he reached out to the city for help recovering items - specifically the items thrown down the drain.
“The fact that I saw that individual throw those items in the trash but choose to discard whatever the other object was down the storm drain was interesting to me,” Sgt Beautom said.
The city sent a pump truck to empty the storm drain which led to the discovery of an envelope containing two Connecticut license plates.
“They came back to nothing,” Sgt Beautom told the court. “There was no record found that such plates existed in the Connecticut database.”
Sgt Kenneth Ventresca with the Connecticut State Police explained how investigators ended up on Albany Avenue on the evening Jennifer Dulos disappeared.
He said location data showed that Mr Dulos’s’ phone was in the area of Albany Avenue in Hartford around 7pm on 24 May 2019.
Investigators took interest in that location for two reasons: “There’s a missing person, we’re 48 hours into this, we haven’t located her,” he said.
Police began looking into whether Mr Dulos, who was a luxury home builder, would have any business in that area, Sgt Ventresca testified.
Sgt Ventresca said that all employees at Fore Group, Mr Dulos’s construction business, were interviewed after law enforcement realised that the vehicle Ms Troconis and Mr Dulos were seen in on surveillance video was not linked to them, nor Jennifer Dulos.
Jennifer has been missing since 24 May 2019. Prosecutors believe Mr Dulos killed her at her home in New Canaan after she returned from dropping their five children off at school. Her body has never been found, but she was recently declared dead.
In January 2020, Mr Dulos died by suicide after being charged with her murder.
Ms Troconis faces charges of second-degree hindering prosecution, tampering with physical evidence and conspiracy to commit murder. She has denied any involvement in Jennifer Dulos’s disappearance.
Her trial is expected to last another six weeks.