Fitbit murder case in Conn. ends with conviction
A Connecticut man has been convicted of killing his wife with her Fitbit activity tracker being used as a key piece of evidence against him.
Richard Dabate claimed a masked man with a voice like actor Vin Diesel shot his wife, Connie Dabate, and tied him up before he burned the intruder with a torch at the couple's Ellington home on Dec. 23, 2015. The couple's two young sons were in school at the time.
But police said information on Connie Dabate’s Fitbit contradicted his story, showing she was moving around and logging steps an hour after he said she was killed.
Tolland State’s Attorney Matthew Gedansky said he believes Richard Dabate’s motive for the crime was concern about a potential divorce and alienating family and friends. Authorities said Richard Dabate had affairs, including one with a woman who was pregnant at the time of the killing.
The defense failed to get the Fitbit data thrown from the case.
His lawyer, Trent LaLima, has said evidence of the affairs was "just an attempt to dirty up Mr. Dabate’s reputation."
A jury in Rockville Superior Court found him guilty of murder, tampering with evidence, and making a false statement to authorities. He faces up to 60 years in prison.
A jury had been picked for the case in early 2020, before state courts shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic. A judge dismissed that jury last August, saying it had been empaneled too long and some jurors had moved out of state.
A new trial got underway in March.
The boys have been living with other family members. Dabate remains jailed on $5 million bond while he awaits sentencing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.