Looking to referee hockey games, Kent Mawhinney, charged in Dulos disappearance, has GPS monitor request denied

Kent Mawhinney, the attorney charged in the Jennifer Dulos case, was released on bond. He was brought to the Stamford Courthouse where he posted bond and was fitted with a GPS monitor. Monday, October 19, 2020, Stamford, Conn.

Kent Mawhinney, the attorney charged in the Jennifer Dulos case, was released on bond. He was brought to the Stamford Courthouse where he posted bond and was fitted with a GPS monitor. Monday, October 19, 2020, Stamford, Conn.

H John Voorhees III / Hearst Connecticut Media

STAMFORD — A judge denied Kent Mawhinney’s request Tuesday to have his GPS monitor removed from his ankle so he can referee adult hockey games while free on bond in the Jennifer Dulos case.

Mawhinney, who has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in the disappearance of the New Canaan mother, has been free on bond since October following his arrest on Jan. 7, 2020. He was ordered to wear the GPS monitor as a condition of his release.

Jeffrey Kestenband, an attorney representing Mawhinney, argued Tuesday in state Superior Court in Stamford that his client has not been able to make a living since losing his law license 18 months ago, and has been unable to find other jobs “given his notoriety” and involvement in the Dulos case.

But Mawhinney, who has played in Hartford-area hockey leagues for much of his life, was recently given the opportunity to referee adult hockey games — a gig that could see him make up to $1,000 a week, Kestenband said.

Assistant State’s Attorney Dan Cummings argued that Mawhinney’s motion is “nearly identical” to the one made by his co-defendant Michelle Troconis, who asked the court to remove her ankle bracelet so she could go skiing with her daughter. Given the similarity, Cummings asked Mawhinney’s motion be denied.

“I think the ankle bracelet is a small inconvenience in comparison to the larger issue here with the charges that are currently pending,” Cummings said.

Judge John F. Blawie denied the request, saying the GPS monitor is “necessary and appropriate” given the severity of the allegations.

Mawhinney was held on $2 million bond for about 10 months before a judge agreed last October to reduce the bond to $246,000 so he could visit his sick father. He was ordered to submit to GPS monitoring upon his release.

Before Blawie’s ruling Tuesday, Kestenband argued that Mawhinney, who is a lifelong Connecticut resident, has followed court orders since his release from prison and is not a flight risk.

“At this point, his picture has been published nationally and internationally, so really there is no concern at all here that he will flee given his strong ties to Connecticut and given that if he did flee, he would be recognized nearly anywhere he went,” Kestenband said.

Mawhinney was arrested in January 2020 on the same day his former client and longtime friend, Fotis Dulos, was charged with murder and kidnapping in connection with his estranged wife’s death and disappearance. Troconis has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit murder and other charges and is scheduled to be back in court next week.

Arrest warrants show that investigators believe that Mawhinney attempted to create an alibi for Fotis Dulos the morning of the disappearance.

Mawhinney was also connected with an East Granby gun club where witnesses told investigators they found a “human grave” leading up to the disappearance, according to an arrest warrant. Investigators said the hole was later covered up and no remains were found at the site, the warrant reads.

Mawhinney eluded state police on Jan. 7, 2020, as they sought to take him into custody, officials said. He was later apprehended at gunpoint during a Tolland traffic stop.

Three weeks later, Fotis Dulos died from a suicide.

Fotis Dulos was believed to have been “lying in wait” for his estranged wife at her New Canaan home after she dropped off their five children at school around 8 a.m. on May 24, 2019, according to the arrest warrant. Investigators said that Jennifer Dulos was the victim of a “serious physical assault” in the garage of the home. The state’s chief medical examiner determined she suffered wounds that were not survivable without immediate medical attention.

Investigators wrote in an arrest warrant that Fotis Dulos and Troconis were seen disposing bags in Hartford’s North End following the disappearance. Some of the bags were recovered and found to have Jennifer Dulos’ blood and DNA, the warrant shows.

Through her attorney, Troconis has been mounting an aggressive defense against the charges, claiming that state police were inaccurate in arrest warrants. In a court motions, Troconis’ attorney, Jon Schoenhorn, has included evidence that shows Troconis repeatedly told investigators she had no involvement in the Jennifer Dulos disappearance.

In a court motion filed in December of last year, Schoenhorn, said a nearly two-hour interview between Mawhinney and state police investigators happened just weeks before his bond was reduced.

At the time his bond was reconsidered, Chief State’s Attorney Richard Colangelo said he had no objections to the reduction or Mawhinney going to visit his ailing father.

Schoenhorn, through motions, has asked the state to provide any information “pertaining to consideration, rewards or understanding regarding favorable treatment, compensation or reward of any kind in exchange for Mawhinney’s cooperation with the state, the investigation or prosecution of this case.”

During a hearing in Troconis’ case in February, a prosecutor said Mawhinney was likely to be called to testify if the matter went to trial.

Mawhinney was scheduled to appear for a remote status hearing on July 27.