A wealthy Connecticut man was convicted Tuesday of all charges for murdering his wife and trying to pin the crime on a phantom intruder – after his testimony was contradicted by a “Fitbit” activity tracker.
It took jurors less than four hours to find Richard Dabate, 45, guilty of murder, tampering with physical evidence and making a false statement for fatally shooting his wife, Connie Dabate, 39, two days before Christmas in 2015, according to the Journal Inquirer.
His wife was wearing the activity tracker wristwatch and data recovered from the device allegedly showed she was leisurely walking around an hour after Dabate claimed she had been killed by a camouflage-wearing burglar.
Dabate took the stand in Rockville Superior Court in Vernon, Connecticut, and claimed that he had left for work Dec. 23 but had forgotten his laptop and turned around to retrieve it. When he got home, he found an intruder in the house, who shot his wife, tied him to a chair and slashed him with a box cutter.
Prosecutor Matthew Gedansky argued that Dabate killed his wife to avoid a divorce after impregnating his mistress.
A device expert testified that it was highly unlikely the data on the tracker would be off by an hour, undermining Dabate’s timeline.
After the verdict, a judge hiked Dabate’s bond from $1 million to $5 million. He faces a minimum of 25 years in prison when he’s sentenced. The five-week trial came after two years of delays due to COVID-19 shutdowns.