FARMINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Out of nearly 500 pages of unsealed search warrants, Fotis Dulos’ defense attorney Norm Pattis is flagging one document in particular.
“I’m asking the state now, by way of this interview: release that report,” he said.
Pattis is talking about a confidential custodial evaluation obtained by detectives under a court order issued four days after Jennifer Dulos was discovered missing.
The detectives who were scrambling to find her write that they were alerted to the report by the children’s court-appointed guardian Michael Meehan.
The evaluation was administered to Jennifer by Psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Herman as part of the ongoing divorce and custody battle between Jennifer and husband Fotis.
In the search warrant signed by Judge John Blawie, investigators write Meehan encouraged them to obtain the report “which could assist us in gaining a better understanding of Jennifer’s…mental state.”
Detectives hoped to glean “personal details of Jennifer that her family and friends do not know.”
That report has never been made public. If it was, Pattis argues that any motive for the killing based on a bitter divorce would be moot. He said it will show Fotis is not the violent man prosecutors and those close to Jennifer have depicted.
“The contention that he was is an exaggeration that we don’t understand,” said Pattis. “He had everything to gain by pursuing the family litigation rather than ending it violently.”
Pattis has come under fierce criticism by prosecutors in the past for publicly questioning Jennifer’s character and mental health in the days leading up to her disappearance. Those comments partly formed the basis for a gag order Judge Blawie has issued in the criminal trial.
Prosecutors insist the order will preserve the jury pool and ensure a fair trial. Pattis is fighting that gag order in State Supreme Court.
Still, the search warrant leaves open whether the custodial evaluation would help or hurt the criminal charges of murder Fotis now faces.
Investigators writing that while “the report may indicate if Jennifer was likely or capable of hurting herself” it could also “strongly dispute that idea thus indicating the blood found inside Jennifer’s garage may have been due to Jennifer having been assaulted and taken against her will.”
That’s of course the case state prosecutors are now meticulously building against her estranged husband.
Pattis said he and his client are limited in what they can say, as they watch the torrent of coverage in the last few days.
“The courts have effectively tied Mr. Dulos to a train track and allowed the state to run over him. I object,” said Pattis.