Michelle Troconis trial juror dismissed over prosecutor comment


A nanny for Jennifer Dulos’ five children recalled on the stand Wednesday the panicked day the slain Connecticut mother went missing in 2019 — while an alternate juror was booted for saying “We love you” to a prosecutor during the ongoing trial of accused conspirator Michelle Troconis.

Troconis, who was the girlfriend of Jennifer’s estranged husband and her alleged killer Fotis Dulos, is facing charges of conspiracy to commit murder and other crimes for allegedly helping her former beau cover up the murder.

Lauren Almeida, who still cares for the Dulos children, described how her “stomach sank” on May 24, 2019, when she texted and called Jennifer but never got a reply.

Almeida, with four of the kids in tow, was supposed to meet the 50-year-old in Manhattan.

Lauren Almeida testified in the trial of Michelle Troconis. DailyMail.com/POOL

“My stomach just sank,” the 32-year-old recalled in Superior Court in Stamford, Connecticut. “She never not answered her phone.”

The caretaker said she even went to a doctor’s office in the Big Apple, where Dulos had an appointment, in hopes of finding her there.

“And so when she wasn’t there, … I was shocked but also, like, OK, I have the four kids in front of me and don’t know what to do,” she said. “I just walked outside, and I started to call people who could have heard from Jennifer.”

The missing person case soon became a murder investigation where Jennifer’s estranged spouse Fotis was eventually charged with her killing. He later died by suicide in 2020 before standing trial.

Michelle Troconis was the girlfriend of Dulos’ estranged husband, Fotis Dulos. Richard Harbus for DailyMail.com

The couple were in the throes of a bitter divorce and child custody proceeding when Dulos vanished. The nanny said she and Jennifer feared Fotis starting in 2017 when the marriage broke down over his affair with Troconis.

She recalled he once tried to barge into a room she ran into during a blowout fight that year.

After calling friends and others who might know where Jennifer was in 2019, Almeida called hospitals and then finally New Canaan police.

“We told the police that a mother of five was missing and that she was in a very contentious divorce. And I knew that he (Fotis Dulos) had purchased a gun, and so I was afraid,” she testified. “And they were on it right away.”

Evidence photo of blood stains on the Range Rover at the Dulos home. DailyMail.com/POOL

Judge Kevin Randolph wiped the comment about buying the gun from the record because prosecutors were not claiming Fotis had a firearm.

The judge also on Wednesday tossed an alternate juror who allegedly said “We love you” to a prosecutor outside the courtroom during a lunch break on the fourth day of the trial.

The prosecutor has been handling the evidence on the case, CT Insider reported. Initially, it was believed a marshal made the comment while in front of two jurors, including the one who is now off the case, the newspaper reported.

Attorney Jon Schoenhorn, who is representing Troconis, called the remark by the male juror a mistake, the Stamford Advocate reported.

“These things happen,” he said. “I feel bad for the guy, but you got to understand that this is a formal process and you can’t be too chatty and you can’t be too informal.”

Defense attorney Audrey Felsen with Troconis in court. DailyMail.com/POOL

Almeida still watches the five children with Jennifer’s mother in Manhattan since she disappeared.

Troconis, 49, has pleaded not guilty to all charges and denied wrongdoing tied to the case. 

Jennifer’s body has never been found. She was declared dead late last year.

With Post wires

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