After pleading not guilty to charges of tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution in the case of missing Connecticut mom, Jennifer Dulos, estranged husband Fortis Dulos’ attorney Norm Pattis claims there is “no evidence” of “foul play” by his client.
Investigators have said they found Fortis’ blood mixed with Jennifer’s on the faucet in the kitchen of her home. Fortis’ lawyer maintains that the blood found in Jennifer’s home was from when his client came to her house days prior to her disappearance. Pattis told the court that Fortis did not enter the home at the time and was only in the backyard of the property.
Fortis, 51, who is being held on a $500,000 bond, is expected to post bail today, using funds from his retirement as collateral, the Hartford Courant reported. The judge in the case required that Fortis remain in Connecticut, surrender his passport, and wear a GPS monitoring device, the Daily Mail reported. His next court date has been set for Aug. 2.
“There’s enormous public interest in the case,” Pattis told the court. “Mr Dulos is being tried and convicted in the court of public opinion of a crime he has not yet been charged with. What we know is that Jennifer went missing…We have been able to account for Mr Dulos’ movement for all of that time.”
With Jennifer missing 18 days now and the evidence that was found in her home, the case has been deemed a murder case, according to Radar Online. Investigators have begun a search of a Hartford landfill for her remains, which Pattis called “ludicrous.”
“There is no body we are aware and I’m sick of hearing about it…my client is entitled to the presumption of innocence. We don’t know where Jennifer is,” Pattis told the court.
Jennifer and Fortis were embroiled in a heated custody battle for their children. Pattis told the court that the custody case was favoring Fortis based on the alleged mental health issues of Jennifer, which the attorney declined to put on the record at the time. Jennifer’s grandmother is caring for the children in New York, who are being protected by armed guards, according to the Daily Mail.
Pattis requested that the judge expedite the case to August, telling the court, “Mr. Dulos is tired of sitting back and hearing people pick apart his motives. We are ready for trial now.”
The judge in the case said he would accommodate the request should Fortis become “eligible.”
Along with Fortis’ arrest, his girlfriend Michelle Troconis, 44, was arrested on the same charges. She has also pleaded not guilty. She posted her $500,000 bond, surrendered her passport, and is now required to wear a GPS monitoring device. She is cooperating with investigators and reportedly gave a confession, the Daily Mail reported. Her next court date is set for July 18.
Jennifer disappeared on May 24, after dropping her children off at school. She is a mother of five.