Troconis wants cellphone back
The attorney for Michelle Troconis has asked a judge in a court filing Monday to ensure that his client’s cellphone is returned and any information taken from it not be used in the case filed against her in the disappearance of Jennifer Dulos.
Troconis’ attorney, Jon Schoenhorn, contends in the latest motion that the Apple iPhone Model X was seized by state police detectives on May 31, 2019, a week after Dulos, a New Canaan mother of five, went missing.
There was no probable cause to take the phone and a search warrant for the device signed a week later by a judge was so overly broad it was a “general search of stored data,” said Schoenhorn in a motion filed with the court Monday.
Schoenhorn wants prosecutors to return the phone, which has been held since 2019, and he wants any evidence taken from the device based on a new search warrant, issued on May 21 of this year, thrown out.
The second search warrant sought to examine all data points from Feb. 1, 2017, to May 31, 2019, the day the phone was seized, Schoenhorn said.
“They looked at every call, every text, every like, every photo and every video,” said Schoenhorn, who previously called it a “digital strip search.”
Schoehorn contends the May 21 search warrant was based on one call on Feb. 1, 2017, made to his client’s phone from a phone connected to Fotis Dulos, the estranged husband of Jennifer Dulos.
Schoenhorn also said in the motion filed Monday that the warrant provided “no factual basis whatsoever to justify the wholesale perusal of everything in the defendant’s personal life stored in the memory card of the iPhone during the ensuing nearly two and a half years.”
Troconis has asked several times for the return of the phone and other digital equipment seized as part of the case, Schoenhorn said. He and his client were not made aware of the May 21 search warrant during her May 25 court appearance and only found out later, after receiving a fax on May 28, Schoenhorn said.
A motion filed in March seeking the suppression of evidence from the phone has not been addressed by Stamford Superior Court Judge John Blawie, who is overseeing the case.
Schoenhorn also pointed out in Monday’s motion that since Blawie was involved in the case, the judge was “not a constitutionally recognized neutral and detached magistrate,” which is a prerequisite for signing a search warrant.
Fotis Dulos was in a relationship with Troconis at the time of the disappearance of his estranged wife while the couple was embroiled in a two-year acrimonious divorce and custody battle.
Troconis and Fotis Dulos were charged with tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution in the case after they were spotted on video driving through Hartford while he was dumping trash bags that contained items stained with the blood and DNA of his estranged wife the night she was reported missing, court records show.
Fotis Dulos was charged on Jan. 7, 2020, with the murder of his estranged wife. Troconis and Fotis Dulos’ longtime friend and attorney Kent Mawhinney were charged with conspiracy to commit murder on the same day.
Fotis Dulos died on Jan. 30, 2020, two days after attempting suicide in the Farmington home where he had lived with Jennifer Dulos and later with Troconis.
Troconis is due back in court Sept. 14.