A slew of personal electronic data, including text messages and a Fitbit activity tracker, helped implicate a Connecticut man in the murder of his wife, according to The Hartford Courant newspaper. Connie Dabate, 39, of Ellington, Connecticut was shot to death on December 23, 2015 during what her husband Richard said was a violent home invasion. Police say it was actually Richard who pulled the trigger, killing his wife and the mother of their children after getting his girlfriend pregnant.
Richard and Connie Dabate had been married for almost 14 years and had two sons, ages 9 and 6. Though all seemed well to outsiders, the couple fought over Richard’s spending habits. Unbeknownst to Connie, some of that money was used to buy gifts and flowers for Richard’s girlfriend. He told his girlfriend he was planning to divorce his wife after she became pregnant with his child, however, her existence was a secret to Connie Dabate at the time of her death.
Richard Dabate told detectives he was on his way to work on the morning of the 23rd when he got an alert from his home alarm system. Estimating that he arrived home by 9 a.m., he claimed to find a husky masked intruder upstairs, with whom he fought. He said during the melee his wife arrived home from the gym, and that the intruder shot her, after incapacitating Richard. After a further physical struggle with the intruder, he ran off. Richard then hit the panic button on his alarm system and called 911. From the start police noticied inconsistencies in Richard’s story. According to CBS News, police said there were no signs of a struggle in the home, nor was anything stolen, and a police dog picked up no scent from where Richard had said the killer had ran off to.
During a yearlong investigation, police looked at the Dabate’s cellphones, home computers, and Connie’s Fitbit activity tracker, which painted a very difference picture than what Richard had told police. Richard had used his laptop to email his boss and look up his wife’s exercise schedule, his last computer usage being clocked at 9:20 a.m. Connie meanwhile drove home from the gym and posted two videos to Facebook on the Dabate's home computer around 9:45 a.m. Her Fitbit tracker indicates her last movements in the home at 10:05. At 10:16 Richard Dabate called 911.
Police arrested Richard Dabate earlier this month and charged him with murder, tampering with evidence and making a false statement. He was released from jail lst week after posting his bail of $1 million, and was ordered to turn in his passport. His lawyer told the Hartford Courant that his client maintains his innocence.