Husband Convicted of Wife's Murder in 'Fitbit' Trial

Richard Dabate said one thing, his wife's fitness tracker said another
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2022 3:01 AM CDT
Husband Guilty of Killing Wife in 'Fitbit' Trial
In this April 28, 2017, file photo, Richard Dabate, left, stands with his lawyer Hubert Santos at Superior Court in Rockville, Conn.   (Stephen Dunn/Hartford Courant via AP, Pool, File)

(Newser) – The Connecticut man who claimed a home intruder murdered his wife two days before Christmas in 2015 was on Tuesday convicted of murdering her himself. Richard Dabate claimed he left for work that morning, then returned home around 9am after realizing he'd left his laptop behind, and found the intruder in the house. He claimed the man fatally shot his wife Connie Dabate soon after—but her Fitbit contradicted that story, showing she'd taken her final steps about an hour later. The fitness data also showed no sign she was ever fleeing an intruder, NBC Connecticut reports. Prosecutors say Richard Dabate decided to kill his wife and stage it as a murder because his mistress was pregnant with his baby, and was due in February. It only took the jury a few hours of deliberations to return the verdict: guilty on all charges, the Hartford Courant reports.

Dabate, who was convicted of murder, lying to police, and tampering with evidence, faces up to life behind bars. His defense team had cast doubt on the accuracy of 2015 technology such as the Fitbit, and argued that police decided on Dabate as their suspect and then ignored evidence that didn't fit that storyline. But prosecutors say Dabate planned his wife's murder for months, and that cellphone GPS data also contradicted his story. They also say they found no evidence in the couple's communications that Dabate had told his wife about his affair, which he claimed to have done, but they did find evidence that Connie Dabate planned to leave her husband. The 39-year-old was the mother of two young sons with Dabate, whose bond was raised to $5 million upon his conviction. He had previously bonded out of prison and was free during his trial. (Read more Connecticut stories.)

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