Next steps: Law experts discuss Michelle Troconis sentencing, chances for a successful appeal

Michelle Troconis was found guilty on all six charges on Friday – including conspiracy to commit murder – in the disappearance and presumed death of New Canaan mother Jennifer Dulos.

Tom Krosnowski and Robyn Karashik

Mar 3, 2024, 12:52 AM

Updated 44 days ago

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Michelle Troconis was found guilty on all six charges on Friday – including conspiracy to commit murder – in the disappearance and presumed death of New Canaan mother Jennifer Dulos.
The 49-year-old is now facing the possibility of spending the rest of her life behind bars. She was the girlfriend of Dulos’ estranged husband, Fotis Dulos.
News 12 Connecticut’s Tom Krosnowski spoke with legal experts for answers on Troconis’ bond, sentencing and chances of a successful appeal.
After Troconis exited the courtroom in handcuffs Friday morning with a $6 million bond set, legal experts say the near tripling of her original bond has more to do with the severity of the charges than her potential flight risk.
“I don't think it was a consideration here, although she has ties to countries outside the U.S. She no longer enjoys that presumption of innocence, especially for a class B felony, which is one of the highest-ranking felonies we have in our state,” said attorney Mark Sherman, a managing partner at Mark Sherman Law.
Troconis’s attorney, Jon Schoenhorn, said he hopes Troconis will post bond in the coming days. If she does, she’ll be subject to house arrest and GPS monitoring. Troconis has dual citizenship in Venezuela and lives in Colorado, but experts say she would likely serve her house arrest in Connecticut.
“I would imagine that they would put non-financial conditions of release being that she cannot leave the state,” said Kevin Black, the founding attorney of Black’s Law Group.
Troconis will be sentenced on May 31. Had the jury ruled “not guilty” on the conspiracy charge, Sherman said her sentencing would have likely been less than 10 years. Instead, she faces a maximum of 50 years in prison.
“I think she is looking at something like 15 to 20 years,” said Sherman.
Sherman said there’s one way Troconis could lighten her sentence.
“She would have to say to the judge, ‘Judge, I did this, I accept the jury's findings. I'm sorry. I'm sorry I did this, I'm sorry I didn't do better, I'm sorry I didn't cooperate with the police,’” said Sherman. “But I don't think that's happening. One, because I truly believe she and her team believes she's innocent, and that's fair…second, because it would really blow up her right to appeal.”
Sherman said the next big question will be whether she’d be allowed out of prison on an appeals bond.
“If the charges were less, or if the charges were anything but that murder conspiracy charge, she'd have a really good chance for an appeal bond,” said Sherman.
As for her chances of a successful appeal, Sherman said it will likely center around the large amount of evidence brought forward.
“They let a lot of the divorce case bleed into the criminal case. I don't know how appropriate that was,” said Sherman. “I think that could have clouded the jury's perception of a motive of why this murder took place.”
Before her final sentencing, Troconis will be back in court on March 21 for a contempt of court arraignment on a misdemeanor charge. Judge Kevin Randolph ordered the hearing after she appeared to have sealed court records opened on her computer monitor, violating a court order.


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