STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut man charged in connection with the disappearance of his estranged wife lost a bid to obtain her medical records Friday as his lawyer looks into possible scenarios of why she vanished.
State Judge John Blawie in Stamford denied Fotis Dulos’ request to view the records of Jennifer Dulos, who hasn’t been seen since May 24. Blawie also postponed taking action on a gag order requested by a prosecutor concerned about public comments made by Fotis Dulos’ lawyer, Norman Pattis.
The request was part of Fotis Dulos’ criminal case. He and his girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, have pleaded not guilty to evidence tampering and hindering prosecution charges. Police accuse them of discarding items containing Jennifer Dulos’ blood in multiple locations in Hartford. Both are free on bail.
Pattis, the lawyer, has said Jennifer Dulos may have staged her disappearance to raise suspicions about Fotis Dulos as they battled each other in divorce proceedings and for custody of their five children. He said the medical records could show whether Jennifer Dulos had a serious illness and wanted to prevent Fotis Dulos from getting custody of their children. Pattis claimed Jennifer Dulos’ medical bills in the months before her disappearance totaled $14,000.
Pattis also has suggested that Jennifer Dulos may have faked her disappearance in a plot similar to Gillian Flynn’s 2012 novel “Gone Girl,” in which a wife pretends to vanish to frame her husband for murder — comments bashed by Jennifer Dulos’ family as “false and irresponsible.”
Jennifer Dulos, 50, of New Canaan, disappeared after dropping the children off at school in late May. The children range in age from 8 to 13 and include two sets of twins. Jennifer Dulos’ mother, Gloria Farber, has been granted temporary guardianship and is seeking sole custody.
Stamford-Norwalk State’s Attorney Richard Colangelo has said that Jennifer Dulos’ blood was found mixed with Fotis Dulos’ DNA on the kitchen sink faucet of her home in New Canaan. Police and prosecutors have also said there was evidence of cleanup attempts at the home.
Fotis Dulos, of Farmington, has never lived at that home.
Colangelo requested the gag order in the case, expressing concern about Pattis’ statements and calling some of them “out of bounds.” Blawie delayed a ruling on the gag order and gave the prosecution and defense time to submit briefs on the issue.
Pattis defended his comments Friday and vowed to appeal any gag order to the state Supreme Court.
“We are not going to sit back silently and be crucified in the press,” he said.
After the hearing, Pattis added: “Our view is, given the extraordinary interest the world at large has taken in Mr. Dulos, I not only have the responsibility but I also have the right to speak out on his behalf and I intend to keep doing so.”
The judge also postponed a ruling on Fotis Dulos’ motion to dismiss the criminal charges. Dulos is due back in court on Sept. 13.