Michelle Troconis was a victim of Fotis Dulos, her sister claims ahead of sentencing

Troconis was found guilty of conspiring to kill her boyfriend’s ex-wife Jennifer Dulos, a mother of five who vanished in May 2019

Andrea Cavallier
Friday 05 April 2024 20:29 BST
Michelle Troconis in court
Michelle Troconis in court (Provided by 48 Hours)

Michelle Troconis’s sister has proclaimed her sister’s innocence weeks after she was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder in the Jennifer Dulos murder case – while placing the blame solely on Fotis Dulos.

Claudia Marmol tells CBS correspondent Erin Moriarty in a new interview that her sister was also a victim of Fotis Dulos, Jennifer’s estranged husband who was dating Troconis at the time.

“Unfortunately, he fooled all of us,” Ms Marmol says. “At the beginning, he was this amazing guy. But it turns out, he was this monster,” she said, adding that her sister was also a victim of Dulos.

The Dulos couple were in the midst of a bitter divorce and custody battle over their five children when Jennifer vanished from a wealthy Connecticut enclave in 2019. Her body has never been found, but she was declared dead in October 2023.

Dulos and Troconis were arrested but Dulos died by suicide before he could stand trial, leaving Troconis to take the fall. She was convicted last month and is set to be sentenced on 31 May.

The Jennifer Dulos murder case and long-awaited trial will be the subject of CBS’s 48 Hours on Saturday night at 10pm.

The episode will also feature interviews with Troconis’s sister Claudia Marmol, Troconis’s attorney, and members of law enforcement who investigated the case.

At Troconis’s trial, prosecutor Sean McGuinness told the jury, “This defendant was undoubtedly part of this plan to kill Jennifer Dulos. There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it.”

But her family thinks otherwise and showed their unwavering support throughout the trial.

Michelle Troconis broke down in tears when she was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder in the Jennifer Dulos murder case (AP)

“My sister is not the person that the media has portrayed, that the police and the State have wanted to portray,” Ms Marmol said. “She would never, ever, ever harm anyone else.”

Surveillance footage that police say shows Fotis Dulos dumping garbage bags containing Jennifer Dulos’ bloody clothing into trash cans the day she disappeared was some of the most damning evidence against Troconis, who was in the car with him.

“She not only did not know what was in those bags ... she had no idea what he was actually doing,” Jon Schoenhorn, Troconis’ attorney, tells 48 hours.

Ms Marmol also points out that Fotis Dulos was a house builder who would often toss trash into public receptacles rather than pay for a dumpster.

“I had gone in 2018, and he had done it in my presence. So, it was very common for him to do that,” Ms Marmol says.

Ms Marmol also addresses the state’s claim that Troconis was burning evidence in the fireplace at the house she shared with Fotis Dulos, and that three fires were lit that day – just before Memorial Day weekend.

But Marmol tells 48 Hours this was normal for Troconis and that she lit fires regardless of the weather.

“Remember my sister lived in Argentina before,” Ms Marmol says. “So, it’s very common to put the fireplace on and to just sit around ... And my sister would do it.”

If Troconis knew where Jennifer’s body was, she would have said something, her sister claims.

“My sister would have said it,” she said. “She would have stood up.”

Troconis, a dual American and Venezuelan citizen, has described herself as a co-founder of horse riding therapy programs in different parts of the world who once had her own TV production company in Argentina and hosted a snow-sports show for ESPN South America.

She is scheduled to be sentenced on 31 May 2024. She faces up to 50 years in prison.

Fotis Dulos died by suicide in 2020 after he was charged with murdering his estranged wife Jennifer Dulos, who vanished in 2019 . Her body has never been found (Provided by 48 Hours)

Besides the conspiracy to commit murder charge, which is punishable with up to 20 years in prison, the jury convicted Troconis of hindering the prosecution and evidence tampering. Her bond was set at $6m.

Troconis’s lawyer, John Shoenhorn, said he respects the jurors’ decision but doesn’t understand it and plans to seek a new trial.

A second defendant in the case, Kent Mawhinney, a former friend of Fotis Dulos, was also charged with conspiracy to commit murder, but his trial date has not yet been set.

48 Hours: The Conspiracy to Murder Jennifer Dulos will air at 10pm on April 6 on CBS, and will be streamed on Paramount+.

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