The jurors of the Conn. ‘Fitbit murder’ trial convicts man of murdering his wife


Dabate maintained his innocence and testified that a tall masked man with a voice like actor Vin Diesel and dressed in camouflage shot his wife.

In this April 28, 2017, file photo, Richard Dabate, left, stands with his attorney Hubert Santos in Superior Court in Rockville, Connecticut. Debate is charged with murder in the shooting death of his wife, Connie, at their Ellington home in 2015. Connecticut State Police say information from Fitbit helped Dabate’s arrest. Stephen Dunn/Hartford Courant via AP, pool, file

VERNON, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut man was convicted on Tuesday of murder in the 2015 murder of his wife — a case based in part on evidence provided by his Fitbit fitness tracker.

A Rockville Superior Court jury found Richard Dabate guilty on all three counts – murder, tampering with evidence and making a false statement to authorities – after a five-week trial and day two of deliberations. The murder charge carries up to 60 years in prison.

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Court marshals handcuffed Dabate and led him out of the courtroom after Judge Corinne Klatt increased his bail to $5 million. He had been released after posting $1 million bail following his arrest.

Dabate maintained his innocence and testified that a large masked man with a voice like actor Vin Diesel and dressed in camouflage shot his wife, Connie Dabate, and tied her up at the couple’s home in Ellington in December 2015 .

Police said Connie Dabate’s Fitbit information contradicted her husband’s story and showed she was moving about an hour after he said she was killed.

Prosecutor Matthew Gedansky said in his closing argument that Dabate hatched a plan to kill his wife and stage a home invasion when his life was on the verge of unraveling with the birth of a child he had with him. another woman.

Dabate’s attorney, Trent LaLima, questioned the reliability of data from the Fitbit tracker, saying the devices were not designed with the accuracy needed for court testimony.

LaLima also pointed to unknown DNA that was found in the Dabates’ home, including on the gun that killed Connie, and testimony from a house cleaner, who said he may have seen a green figure. dark walk past the window at the time of the crime. .

A jury was chosen for the case in early 2020, before state courts closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. A judge dismissed that jury last August, saying it had been convened too long and some jurors had left the state, and a new panel was selected starting in late February.


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