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Murder case against Fotis Dulos dropped after his death, against wishes of defense

Dulos, 52, was arrested and charged in January with capital murder, murder and kidnapping in connection with the disappearance in May of his wife, Jennifer Dulos.
/ Source: NBC News

The state of Connecticut on Tuesday dropped the murder and kidnapping case against the now-deceased Fotis Dulos over the objections of his attorney, who said he wished to pursue a trial to prove that Dulos did not kill his estranged wife.

Dulos, a Connecticut real estate developer, died Jan. 30 at a New York City hospital two days after attempting suicide at his home in Farmington, where he was on house arrest.

Earlier that month, Dulos, 52, was arrested and charged with capital murder, murder and kidnapping in connection with the disappearance in May of his wife, Jennifer Dulos, whose body has never been found. The Duloses, who had five children together, were in a contentious and drawn-out divorce and child custody battle when she disappeared in May 2019.

The charges against Dulos were dropped because he is dead, the state said. But his attorney, Norm Pattis, argued that Dulos’ estate has the right to clear his name at a trial. He said he would look into pursuing an appeal through probate court.

Shortly after Dulos died, Pattis said, "As we are speaking, we have filed an unusual motion in the Connecticut courts asking to substitute an estate for Fotis Dulos for him as a defendant to force the state to show its hand in a trial filled with evidence, we think, that amounts to no more than innuendo and unsupported suspicion."

Pattis said Tuesday that his team was investigating a theory that Jennifer was killed by someone else, and that Dulos had no involvement, but panicked when garbage bags full of her bloody clothes were dropped in his backyard.

Investigators had laid out a bevy of evidence against Dulos in multiple arrest warrants. Early on, they said his DNA was found mingled with hers in bags full of items, like zip-ties, gloves, cleaning supplies and clothes, which he was caught stuffing into trash bins in Hartford, with his girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, after Jennifer went missing.

His DNA was also found in her home, along with her blood, court documents said.

Dulos' suicide attempt came after he got word that he was due at an emergency court hearing to address a discrepancy with the $6 million bond he had posted.