Kent Mawhinney is a Connecticut attorney who has been charged in connection to the disappearance of 51-year-old New Canaan mother Jennifer Farber Dulos, the Hartford Courant reports. She was the estranged wife of Fotis Dulos, who was Mawhinney’s client in civil case. Fotis Dulos and his girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, have also been charged in Farber Dulos’ murder, according to the Courant.
Mawhinney is also a close personal friend of Fotis Dulos, according to police. The arrest warrant and affidavit in the murder case can be read here.
Jennifer Farber Dulos has been missing since May 2019. Her body has not been found. Mawhinney, Fotis Dulos and Troconis were arrested on January 7, 2020. Dulos was charged with murder, while Mawhinney and Troconis are facing conspiracy to commit murder charges. Dulos and Troconis had previously been arrested in June 2019 on tampering with evidence charges.
Mawhinney, a 54-year-old South Windsor resident, was arrested twice in 2019 in unrelated cases. He was accused in January 2019 with sexual assault of a spouse after his own estranged wife accused him of rape. He was also charged with unlawful restraint and disorderly conduct in that case. In July 2019, Mawhinney was charged with violation of a protective order. Both cases are still pending and he has been free on $5,000 bond in the sexual assault case and $100,000 bond in the protective order violation case.
Mawhinney and his attorney, Lee Gold, could not be reached for comment by Heavy.
Jennifer Farber Dulos was last seen in New Canaan, Connecticut, on May 24, 2019. The writer and mother of five had been going through a contentious divorce with Fotis Dulos before she went missing. Mawhinney was supposed to meet with Fotis Dulos at his home in Farmington, Connecticut, on May 24, to discuss the civil case he was working on, according to the Courant. Sources told the newspaper that Mawhinney had not verified to police whether the meeting had occurred. Troconis told police she did see Mawhinney at the Farmington house the morning of May 24, but did not see Dulos with him, according to the Courant. Mawhinney’s vehicle was also seen on surveillance video coming and going from the house that day, the Courant reports.
According to the affidavit included in the arrest warrant for Mawhinney, police do not believe that Jennifer Farber Dulos is alive. They believe her estranged husband waited for her at her home in New Canaan and killed her after she returned from dropping their children off at school.
Jennifer’s family issued a statement saying, “Above all we thank the Connecticut State Police and the New Canaan Police Department, as well as the assisting local departments, for their tireless commitment and diligent, painstaking work that have led to these arrests. Although we are relieved that the wait for these charges is over, for us there is no sense of closure. Nothing can bring Jennifer back. We miss her every day and will forever mourn her loss. We believe the arrest warrants will speak for themselves, and we ask that you please respect our privacy during this time. Thank you.”
Here’s what you need to know about Kent Mawhinney:
1. Members of a Gun Club That Kent Mawhinney Was a Co-Founder of Located What Appeared to Be a ‘Human Grave’ on the Property & Reported That to Police
According to the Connecticut State Police affidavit written as part of the Kent Mawhinney arrest warrant application, detectives received a tip about Mawhinney from members of a gun club in East Granby, not far from Fotis Dulos’ home.
The members of the Windsor Rod & Gun Club in East Granby told police the property sits on about 25 acres of wooded land that is secured by fencing and a logging chain. The property is only supposed to be used by the club’s five current members. Two of those members, Jay Lawlor and Lee McKay, said they were walking through the woods on May 18 when they discovered an area of disturbed ground.
Police wrote, “When they looked closer, they uncovered two barbecue grill grates which had been placed over a hole dug into the ground. Small branches and leaves had been placed on the grill gates to hide the pit beneath. The hole dimensions were approximately two feet wide, six feet long and three feet deep. Lawlor stated that he is just under six feet tall and that he would have laid down in the hole. Lawlor described the hole as, ‘One hundred percent a human grave.’ Inside the hole, Lawlor found a blue tarp and two unopened bags of lime. McKay had remarked, ‘What’s the lime for?’ Lawlor responded, ‘For trying to get rid of a body.'”
Lawlor told police that in June he went back to the area and the hole had been filled and was covered “as neat as a pin with” with leaves and sticks, according to the affidavit. Lawlor went to police and they searched the area on June 21, but nothing was found.
On August 2, Lawlor was at the property with other gun club members and one said, “Did you hear about Kent Mawhinney? He’s involved in that Dulos case.” Lawlor said he then realized that, “Mawhinney was an associate of Dulos, whose wife had gone missing on 5/24/19,” and “Mawhinney was responsible for the club’s existence. He had found the land and helped to secure it and establish the club 12-15 years earlier.”
Police wrote in the affidavit, “Although (Mawhinney) had left the club approximately 5-6 years earlier, Mawhinney had reached out to another cub member in March/April 2019. HE had said he wanted to get back into the club and had inquired how to get back onto the property. The member told Mawhinney about the hidden key to the logging chain. Mawhinney had taken that information and had never followed up renewing his club membership.”
On August 14, police searched the property again and found a site of disturbed earth about 2.5 feet wide, 6 feet long and 3.5 feet deep. Canine teams searched the hole and surrounding area, but did not locate any signs of human remains. There was no sign of a tarp or bags of lime.
According to police, Mawhinney’s cell phone “polled the tower in East Granby which appears to service the site of the Windsor Rod & Gun Club” on March 29 from 1:09 p.m. to 1:43 p.m.”
Mawhinney’s cell phone polled the tower that appears to serve Dulos’ residence on May 23 at 5:21 and 5:23 p.m. Police wrote, “These times coincide with the time at which Dulos left his dinner party guest son the night before Jennifer’s disappearance to drive to Stop & Shop in Simsbury because he needed more meat to cook. Prior to his device traveling to the area of Stop & Shop, Dulos’ device traveled to the area of 80 Mountain Spring Road. Residential surveillance confirmed Dulos drove onto the property of 80 Mountain Spring Road, remaining there for approximately seven minutes.”
Police said, “Mawhinney’s cell phone polled the tower in East Granby which appears to service the site of the Windsor Rod & Gun Club,” on May 31, at 11:04 p.m.
2. Michelle Troconis Told Police That Kent Mawhinney Was at Fotis Dulos’ Office Alone With Fotis’ Cellphone on the Morning of Jennifer Dulos’ Murder, According to Court Documents
According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Troconis told police during a June 2 interview that a business meeting had been set for the morning of May 24 at Fotis Dulos’ home office in Farmington. She said she saw Fotis Dulos and Mawhinney at the Fore Group office in their home about 8:15 a.m. During that first interview, she told investigators three different versions of the story, first that she saw Mawhinney and Dulos sitting at a table talking together, then that she heard them talking but never saw them and finally that she heard Mawhinney talking but did not see or hear Dulos talking.
During a second interview with police, Troconis told police she saw Mawhinney in the Fore Group office the morning of May 24. She “was unwilling to say that Dulos was NOT at the residence. She would only say that she did not see Dulos during the morning.” She said when she returned home after dropping her daughter off at school, she saw only Mawhinney in the Fore Group office and noticed Dulos’ cellphone was sitting on the table, but he was not there.
According to the affidavit, Troconis told police, “I thought he (Dulos) was (there) because Kent was there but I didn’t see him (Dulos). I didn’t see him … Back then I always thought he (Dulos) was in the house but thinking I never saw him … I never heard his voice. So obviously he wasn’t or probably he wasn’t in the house.”
Troconis told police that while she was in the office with Mawhinney, Dulos’ phone rang and Mawhinney told her, “There’s a phone ringing. Are you going to do something with the phone or the call?” She said she picked up the phone and it was a childhood friend of Fotis Dulos calling from Greece. Police said the call was pre-arranged by Dulos the previous day with his friend.
Mawhinney’s name is also listed in documents titled “Alibi Scripts,” that were found in Fotis Dulos’ home in Farmington.
According to court documents, Mawhinney’s phone records showed he was likely in the Fore Group office the morning of May 24.
State Police detectives interview Mawhinney twice, on June 9 and June 25. Mawhinney told detectives he met Troconis for the first time within the past 30 days of the first interview, according to the affidavit.
“Mawhinney stated there was no scheduled ‘meeting’ with Dulos on the morning of 5/24/19 and he acknowledged he did not see Dulos that morning,” during his first interview, police said. “In his second interview, Mawhinney changed his account of 5/24/19 to reflect there was a pre-arranged meeting with Dulos that morning. Mawhinney continued to maintain he did not see Dulos that morning.”
Mawhinney told police he arrived at the 4 Jefferson Crossing home/Fore Group office on May 24 about 7:40 a.m. and stayed there for about 40 to 50 minutes before leaving. Investigators asked him if he had contact with Dulos on May 23, and he said he couldn’t remember, according to the affidavit.
According to police, phone records show Dulos made an outgoing call to Mawhinney on May 23 at 5:33 p.m. Mawhinney also denied any phone contact with Dulos on May 24, but police said in the affidavit that Dulos’ phone records show an outgoing call to Mawhinney on May 24 at 7:47 p.m.
Mawhinney told police during his second interview that he had “received a concussion resulting from a fall down a set of stairs” on May 25, and he said he had to replace his cellphone after that fall because he broke his screen, according to the affidavit. Mawhinney said he still had no memory of seeing Dulos or Troconis on May 24, according to the affidavit.
“Mawhinney reported he could not remember any incoming phone call on 05/24/19 at 8:26 AM. When pressed on whether he answered any calls that morning, Mawhinney responded, ‘Why would I direct someone to answer a phone’ Detectives had to explain to Mawhinney that was not answering the question being asked several times,” according to the affidavit.
Police said, “In his first interview, Mawhinney had denied having any contact whatsoever with Dulos on 05/24/19. In his second interview prior to any questions by detectives on the topic, Mawhinney stated, ‘I don’t remember having contact with him (Dulos). If there’s a phone call I guess I did. But I don’t remember having contact with Fotis.’ Mawhinney was asked if he would know why Dulos would have contacted him while dumping evidence into trash receptacles in Hartford CT. Mawhinney reiterated that he did not remember any kind of contact with Dulos and did not know why Fotis would call him while he was disposing of evidence.”
3. Kent Mawhinney’s Estranged Wife Says He Raped Her Twice in January 2019 & Choked Her During One of the Sexual Assaults & She Believes He Was Working With Dulos to ‘Get Rid of Her’, Police Say
Kent Mawhinney and his 46-year-old estranged wife have been going through a divorce since January 2019, according to Connecticut family court records. He filed for divorce on January 14, 2019. On January 21, 2019, Mawhinney was arrested by South Windsor Police and charged with sexual assault of a spouse, a felony, and misdemeanor charges of second-degree unlawful restraint and disorderly conduct.
According to court documents obtained by the Manchester Journal Inquirer, Mawhinney and his estranged wife were in the process of divorcing, but were still living together in their South Windsor home when the sexual assault occurred on January 20. His estranged wife told police that on January 19, he had made sexual advances toward her and tried to have sex with her multiple times, but gave up and went to bed after she said no, according to the newspaper.
On January 20, she said Mawhinney grabbed her and pulled her into bed with him. According to court documents, she told police he began having sexual intercourse with her and she told him to stop because it was hurting her, but he did not. She said she eventually pushed him away and he left, but he later came back and had sexual intercourse with her a second time, according to the court documents. She told police that she let it happen in hopes of ending the interaction more quickly.
His estranged wife told police that he came back a third time that night and had sexual intercourse with her again, causing significant pain, and this time put his hands around her neck and squeezed her, hurting her, but not cutting off her oxygen. Police said in a report that there was dark discoloration on the woman’s neck consistent with a bruise the next day, but Mawhinney was not charged with strangulation because that charge requires the offender impede the victim’s ability to breathe or restricts the victim’s blood circulation, the Journal Inquirer reports.
Mawhinney told police his estranged wife had initiated and consented to the sexual activity after entering his bedroom naked, the Journal Inquirer reports. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. He was arrested and later released on $5,000 bond.
Mawhinney and his estranged wife had a hearing in their divorce case on December 16, according to court records. Another hearing, a pretrial conference, is scheduled for January 15. Mawhinney is also scheduled to appear in court in the criminal cases on January 17.
Mawhinney was previously married to another woman, whom he divorced in 2011, according to online records. He and his first wife had children together and he has been paying her child support, court records show. He and his first wife had been married since 2001. Mawhinney and his second wife did not have any children together, according to court records.
Kent Mawhinney was arrested a second time, in June 2019, this time in a case that involved his client, Fotis Dulos, according to the Hartford Courant. A judge had issued a protective order barring Mawhinney from contacting his estranged wife after he was charged with sexually assaulting her in January 2019. According to the Courant, Mawhinney’s estranged wife went to police in June and said that her husband had tried to use Dulos to get around that order by meeting with her to try to patch up their relationship.
“The woman later told state police she believed that her husband, Kent Mawhinney, wanted her dead and that Dulos — with whom the husband had a professional relationship — was working on behalf of her husband ‘to get rid of her,'” the Courant wrote in July 2019, citing an arrest warrant.
According to the Courant, Mawhinney’s estranged wife told police that Dulos invited her to come to his house in Farmington to meet with Mawhinney. She said she met with Dulos on May 19 at Max’s Oyster Bar in West Hartford, but told him she wouldn’t meet with her husband unless their lawyers were present. She told police Dulos abruptly paid the bill and left. Mawhinney’s wife told police Dulos called her the next day and said that Mawhinney would meet with their lawyers present. On May 21, he called again to set up a meeting, but she told him she had talked to her lawyer and did not want to meet with Mawhinney even if the attorneys were there, the Courant reports.
In June 2019, she filed a report with South Windsor Police alleging that Mawhinney had violated the terms of the protective order. She expressed fear for her safety.
“She believed it was suspicious that Dulos has such a sudden vested interest in her relationship with Mawhinney. She stated she felt she was being ‘baited’ and was uncomfortable with the fact that Dulos kept inviting her back to his residence. She stated that she believed Dulos was ‘indebted’ to Mawhinney and that she believed Dulos was working on behalf of Mawhinney to get rid of her. She stated that she believed that Mawhinney wanted her dead,” the warrant obtained by the Courant states.
According to an affidavit obtained by the Stamford Advocate, Mawhinney’s estranged wife told police Dulos told her, “I am going through a divorce myself and I know what it’s like and he wishes that someday that I would call Jennifer to do the same thing what he did for us and also told me that he would like to be friends with Jennifer someday.” She also told police that Dulos talked about a possible meeting at his Farmington home, and “He suggested that Kent and I can be in one of the rooms and can be intimate
Mawhinney was arrested by the South Windsor Police on July 5 and charged with violation of a protective order, a felony. He was released after posting $100,000 bond. He has a January 17, 2020, hearing in Hartford court in that case and has pleaded not guilty. His attorney has not commented about the charges.
Norm Pattis, the attorney representing Dulos in his criminal case, told the Courant about the Mawhinney accusations, “Really? It sound like she read the stories about the Jennifer Dulos disappearance and wanted her 15 minutes of fame. That’s just ridiculous.”
4. Kent Mawhinney Was Representing Fotis Dulos in a Lawsuit Brought by His Mother-in-Law, Who Said the Contractor Owed Her Millions of Dollars
Kent Mawhinney was Fotis Dulos’ attorney in a civil case brought against him by his mother-in-law, Gloria Farber, that was filed after Farber’s husband’s death. Dulos owns a real estate and construction business and had borrowed money from Jennifer Farber Dulos’ parents for projects over several years. Gloria Farber accused him of not paying them back and said he owed millions of dollars.
Mawhinney removed himself from the case in June 2019 after Fotis Dulos was arrested on evidence tampering charges in connection to Jennifer’s disappearance. That civil case had been ongoing since 2018, after the death of Jennifer’s father, Hilliard Farber.
Mawhinney also represented Dulos in another civil case, court records show. Olajedo Lamikanra sued Dulos and his company, Fore Group, in March 2016. Lamikanra, a Nigerian-born, London-based attorney, had sought to buy a property in Avon from Dulos’ company, according to the lawsuit. He accused Dulos of breach of contract, defamation and other wrongdoing after the deal collapsed.
After a three-day trial in August 2017, a judge ruled in Dulos’ favor.
5. Mawhinney Graduated From Babson College & Western New England College School of Law & Was the Owner of the Bloomfield Law Firm That Was Dissolved in October 2019
Kent Mawhinney, a South Windsor, Connecticut, native, graduated from Babson College in 1987 after attending South Windsor High School. Mawhinney’s degree was in entrepreneurial studies, according to his Linkedin profile.
He then attended Western New England College School of Law, graduating in 1990.
Mawhinney was being sought by Connecticut State Police on January 7 after an arrest warrant was issued. According to the Stamford Advocate, “Sources said state police detectives showed up at the Family Court in Hartford looking for Mawhinney at around 1 p.m. A court clerk looked up information and told them that he was scheduled to be at the civil court across the street, sources said. The detectives immediately went to the civil court, but were told that he had just left.”
The Advocate added, “A representative from Mawhinney’s office said she heard about his potential arrest on a conspiracy to commit murder and called the clients that had scheduled court dates to report that he was having a ‘personal emergency’ and likely wouldn’t make it. The woman had no official word on whether Mawhinney had been charged, she said. ‘He showed up for work as usual this morning.'”
Mawhinney was later located by police in the Hartford area and was being transported to State Police Troop G in Bridgeport to be processed. His bail has been set at $2 million. The Courant’s Dave Altimari tweeted, “Kent Mawhinney was arrested by troopers in Tolland off exit 68 after police had been searching for him all day. It’s unclear if they believe he was trying to flee.They searched courthouses in Hartford all day looking for him.”
Kent Mawhinney had been the owner of the Bloomfield-based law firm Markowitz & Mawhinney since at least 2008, according to his Linkedin profile. In October 2019, the law firm was dissolved. According to the Stamford Advocate, Mawhinney and his partner, David Markowitz, cited the 71-year-old Markowitz’s age as a reason the law firm would be shut down. Mawhinney also said he was interested in pursuing immigration law.
Mawhinney was previously a partner at Clayman, Markowitz, Tapper & Baram, LLC, in Bloomfield, according to a 2001 wedding announcement in the Courant from his first marriage.
Mawhinney has focused on real estate and home inspection law during his career.