Connecticut Man Found Guilty Of His Wife’s 2015 Murder After Fitbit Data Contradicts His Alibi
Connie Dabate was shot dead just two months before her husband’s secret girlfriend was due to give birth.
A Connecticut man was convicted of killing his wife after evidence, including data gleaned from a Fitbit, helped jurors determine he should be held responsible for the 2015 crime.
After a five-week trial, Richard Dabate, 45, was found guilty on May 10 in Rockville Superior Court of murder, tampering with evidence, and making a false statement to authorities in connection to the death of his 39-year-old wife, Connie Dabate.
After the verdict, Richard, who had been free on bond, was taken into custody and held on a new $5 million bond. He is scheduled to be sentenced in September and faces up to 60 years in prison on the murder charge alone.
On Dec. 23, 2015, Richard alleged a 6-foot-2-inch man wearing camouflage and with a voice similar to actor Vin Diesel broke into the home he shared with Connie in Ellington around 9 a.m., an arrest warrant obtained by People states.
According to Richard, the masked intruder tied him to a metal folding chair and used a blowtorch to torture him. Richard claimed that when Connie came home early from a canceled fitness class, the intruder chased her into the basement, where she was later found fatally shot in the head and abdomen.
Richard said he eventually managed to hit a home alarm system panic button and call 911 around 10:11 a.m.
Investigators, however, painted a different picture of what happened based on hundreds of pieces of evidence, including that collected from computers, cell phones, the home alarm system, and the murder victim’s Fitbit.
The devices showed that Connie was active in the residence around an hour after the time when Richard claimed the purported intruder killed her, police said.
Richard, who always maintained he was not guilty of his wife’s slaying, told detectives during questioning that he had gotten a woman he was having an affair with pregnant, according to the warrant.
The woman revealed to investigators she was due to give birth to Richard’s child around eight weeks after Connie was killed, the document states.
During closing arguments, prosecutors said the affair and pregnancy were the main motives for Richard to want to get rid of his wife.
A spokesperson for the victim’s family said the jury finding Richard guilty of the three charges against him was justice served, the Associated Press reported.
“The trial was not about Fitbit,” Wayne Rioux pointed out. “The trial was about the cold-blooded, planned murder of Connie Margotta Dabate… There will be no closure for the Margotta family, but there is finally justice for Connie.”
Richard’s defense lawyer had argued in court that the Fitbit data was unreliable and now says they plan to appeal the convictions.