A Connecticut man was found guilty of murdering his wife in 2015 and staging a cover-up following a 22-day trial known as the "Fitbit Murder"
Tolland County resident Richard Dabate, age unknown, of Ellington, was found guilty by a jury on Tuesday, May 10, for the Dec. 23, 2015 murder of his wife Connie Debate inside the couple's Ellington home.
Dabate, who maintained his innocence, had told police that on the morning of the murder, he returned home to find a large masked man, dressed in camouflage, with a voice similar to actor Vin Diesel had shot Connie Dabate, and then tied him to a chair and injured him with a box cutter, before escaping.
But information on Connie Dabate’s Fitbit contradicted his story, by showing she was moving around an hour after he said she was shot and killed.
Evidence presented at the trial showed forensic examinations of various forms of technology, including Connie’s personal fitness tracker, Dabate’s computer tablet, the home’s alarm system, and each of the couple’s cellphones contradicted his claims, said Matthew C. Gedansky, Tolland State’s Attorney.
The prosecutor argued that Dabate planned to kill his wife to avoid a divorce, as he was expecting a baby with another woman, officials said.
He faces up to 60 years in prison when sentenced in September in Rockville Superior Court.
Dabate, who had been free since his 2017 arrest, had his bond increased to $5 million by the judge.
“The thorough and thoughtful examination of technology was key to this investigation and was significant in proving that the defendant was guilty of this crime,” Gedansky said. “In the end, though, this was another case of domestic violence.”
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