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Woman convicted of murder conspiracy, coverup, in 2019 disappearance of Connecticut mother

Michelle Troconis, right, appears in court with her defense attorney, Jon Schoenhorn, during the first full day of jury deliberation on day 29 of Troconis' criminal trial at Connecticut Superior Court in Stamford, Conn., Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024. Troconis is on trial for charges related to the disappearance and death of New Canaan resident Jennifer Dulos. (Tyler Sizemore/Hearst Connecticut Media/Pool)

(AP) — A woman was convicted Friday of conspiring to murder Jennifer Dulos, a mother of five who vanished from a wealthy Connecticut enclave in 2019 and was never found.

Michelle Troconis, 49, sat with her head down and cried as the jurors were polled as to whether they agreed with the verdict. She later rested her head on the table and could be heard sobbing before marshals cuffed her and led her from the courtroom.

In addition to the conspiracy to commit murder charge, which is punishable with up to 20 years in prison, the jury convicted Troconis of hindering the prosecution and evidence tampering. Her bond was set at $6 million and she is scheduled to be sentenced May 31.

Prosecutors said Troconis helped her then-boyfriend, Fotis Dulos, in his plot to kill his estranged wife and cover it up. Authorities believe Fotis Dulos killed Jennifer Dulos as they battled each other in divorce and child custody proceedings. Fotis Dulos killed himself in January 2020 shortly after being charged with murder. He had denied the allegations.

Jennifer Dulos, 50, vanished on May 24, 2019, after dropping off their five children at school. At the time, she was living with the children in New Canaan while Fotis Dulos stayed in the family’s spacious home about 70 miles (115 kilometers) away in Farmington. Troconis and her daughter were living with Fotis Dulos at the time.

The case drew widespread attention and was the subject of a made-for-TV movie, Lifetime’s “Gone Mom.”

Jennifer Dulos was a member of a wealthy New York City family whose father, the late Hilliard Farber, founded his own brokerage firm. She also was a niece by marriage of fashion designer Liz Claiborne. Fotis Dulos was a luxury home builder originally from Greece.

Troconis, a dual American and Venezuelan citizen, has described herself as a co-founder of horse riding therapy programs in different parts of the world who once had her own TV production company in Argentina and hosted a snow-sports show for ESPN South America.

Another defendant in the case, Kent Mawhinney, a friend of Fotis Dulos and his one-time lawyer in a civil case, is awaiting trial on a murder conspiracy charge. He has pleaded not guilty.