A Connecticut man was convicted Tuesday of murder in the— a case built partly on evidence provided by her Fitbit exercise activity tracker.
A jury in Rockville Superior Court foundguilty of all three charges — murder, tampering with evidence and making a false statement to authorities — on the second day of deliberations following a five-week trial. The murder charge carries up to 60 years in prison.
Court marshals handcuffed Dabate and led him out of the courtroom after Judge Corinne Klatt increased his bond to $5 million. He had been free after posting $1 million bail following his arrest.
Dabate maintained his innocence and testified that a large masked man who had a voice like actor Vin Diesel and was dressed in camouflage shot his wife, Connie Dabate, and tied him up at the couple's Ellington home in December 2015.
Police said information on Connie Dabate's Fitbit contradicted her husband's story and showed she was moving around 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, as his life was about to unravel with the birth of a child he was having with another woman.
Dabate allegedly told investigators his wife was unable to have another child, so the couple did some "untraditional things." He said all three planned to co-parent the child, CBS affiliate WFSB reported.
Dabate's lawyer, Trent LaLima, questioned the reliability of the 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 Dabate's home, including on the gun that killed Connie, and testimony from a house cleaner, who said they may have seen a dark green figure move past the window around the time of the crime.
A jury was 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, and a new panel was selected beginning in late February.
In 2017, Connie Dabate's sister filed aagainst Richard Dabate. Marliese Shaw, the executor of Connie Dabate's estate, also asked a probate judge to order that Richard Dabate return more than $70,000 taken from his wife's estate after she died.
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