In this Jan. 8, 2020, file photo, Fotis Dulos, the estranged husband of a missing mother of five, is arraigned on murder and kidnapping charges in Stamford Superior Court in Stamford, Conn. On Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, his lawyer said he has died following an apparent suicide attempt. (Erik Trautmann/Hearst Connecticut Media via AP, Pool) HARTFORD — The death of Fotis Dulos brought an abrupt end to his high-profile criminal case, but legal experts said he does not need to be alive for the state to continue its prosecution of the others accused of conspiring with him to kill his estranged wife.
Prosecutors will now shift their focus to Dulos’ former girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, 45, and Kent Mawhinney, 54, a lawyer and friend to Dulos. Both face charges of conspiracy to commit murder. Troconis also has pleaded not guilty to charges of hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence.
Legal experts said Dulos does not need to be alive for the state to proceed with its prosecution of Troconis and Mawhinney.
“If there was an agreement and if one of them committed the overt act, that’s enough to establish the conspiracy against the surviving defendant,” Quinnipiac law professor William Dunlap said.
At times, Dunlap said, accused conspirators, including unindicted co-conspirators who are alleged in an indictment to have engaged in a conspiracy, don’t get charged criminally for a number of reasons, including death.
“These cases are far from over,” William Paetzold, a longtime defense attorney in Connecticut, said.
Going forward, Paetzold said, the question shifts to […]