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Dulos' ex-girlfriend pleads not guilty in missing mom case

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — The ex-girlfriend of Fotis Dulos pleaded not guilty Friday to conspiring with him in connection with the disappearance and presumed death of his estranged wife in Connecticut. Michelle Troconis, 45, appeared in state court in Stamford for the first time since Dulos' died Jan. 30. He had attempted suicide and later died. She pleaded not guilty to a murder conspiracy charge and remains under house arrest.

Jennifer Dulos, 50, disappeared May 24 after dropping her and Fotis Dulos' five children off at school. Authorities said there was a bloody crime scene at Jennifer Dulos' home in New Canaan, and there appeared to have been efforts to clean it up, but her body has never been found. The couple were estranged and going through contentious divorce and child custody proceedings.

Fotis Dulos was charged with murder last month. Police allege he attacked her in the garage of her home and drove off with her body. Troconis and attorney Kent Mawhinney, a friend of Fotis Dulos, were both charged with murder conspiracy, accused of helping Fotis Dulos cover up the killing.

Authorities said Troconis was with Fotis Dulos as he disposed of trash bags in Hartford later in the day of Jennifer Dulos' disappearance. They were recorded on surveillance cameras, and police were able to retrieve many of the bags, which officials said contained clothing, zip ties and other items that later tested positive for Jennifer Dulos' DNA.

Troconis' next court date is March 20. Her new attorney, Jon Schoenhorn, denied the allegations against her. They also include evidence tampering and hindering prosecution charges filed in two previous arrests in the case.

“She is innocent of the charges, and we will fight them in court,” Schoenhorn said after the hearing. State police allege Troconis gave conflicting information several times to investigators during three different interviews, including lying about seeing Fotis Dulos on the morning Jennifer Dulos disappeared.

Schoenhorn recently indicated he may challenge the admissibility of those interviews because there may have been a language barrier. Troconis' first language is Spanish. For the first time in court Friday, a Spanish interpreter was provided to her.

Prosecutor Richard Colangelo Jr. said Friday that he was investigating whether Troconis had violated a court order by contacting Fotis Dulos through third parties before his death.

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