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Wealthy Man Accused Of Killing His Wife In 'Fitbit Murder' Case Found Guilty
Connie Dabate's Fitbit contradicts the timeline given to investigators by her husband Richard Dabate, who has been convicted of killing her when his mistress was seven months pregnant.
A wealthy Connecticut man has been found guilty of murdering his wife, in a case that received nationwide attention because of Fitbit evidence.
Richard Dabate, 45, was convicted of all charges on Tuesday in the death of his wife, Connie Dabate, 39, two days before Christmas 2015, according to the Hartford Courant.
He had been charged with first-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence and providing a false statement, according to court records.
On Monday, the jury began deliberating after five weeks of testimony in the case, NBC Connecticut reports. The jurors, who looked at 600 exhibits and heard the testimony of about 130 witnesses, continuing their deliberations on Tuesday but, after re-hearing DNA evidence, convicted Dabate, the Courant reported.
Richard's fate came down, in part, to a Fitbit exercise tracker which was introduced as evidence in the trial. Prosecutors claimed that the data on Connie’s Fitbit — and Richard's own cell phone data — contradicted the timeline he gave investigators about his wife’s murder, evidence they emphasized during closing statements.
The husband testified during the trial that he came home shortly after 9:00 a.m. to pick up his forgotten laptop when he came across the intruder. He claimed the masked and camouflage-wearing man shot Connie in their basement before slashing his legs and tying him to a chair, Fox News reports.
But, while Richard claimed Connie was killed around 9:05 a.m., her Fitbit, surveillance video and GPS cell phone data show that Connie didn’t return to the house until about 9:18 a.m. that morning, prosecutors say. They claim that the data shows she was walking casually at 9:27 a.m. and that there was no indication of fleeing from an attack. Her last movement, according to the Fitbit, was at 10:05 a.m.
Dabate's lawyer, Trent LaLima, questioned the accuracy of Fitbit, telling jurors that such technology could be incorrect.
Prosecutors also presented evidence that, when Richard said he was being attacked, he was listening to ESPN and surfing the web at his house — including to find out when Connie would get home from spin class, according to the Hartford Courant.
Richard Dabate had been having an affair and telling his mistress that he and Connie were on the verge of divorcing, the paper said. But shortly before the murder, the two went on a romantic vacation together, which Connie posted about on Facebook.
His pregnant mistress saw the posts and confronted him about his supposedly slow-moving divorce.
She testified for the prosecution at the trial, noting that she was seven months pregnant at the time of the slaying, NBC Connecticut reported last month, and he'd been lying to her for much of that time. According to texts, he assured her that he was divorcing his wife one day before the slaying, People reported in 2017.
Richard Dabate's bond was increased to $5 million after his conviction and he was led from the court in handcuffs. He's scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 16.