A Hartford, Connecticut man is being charged with murdering his wife after her Fitbit contradicted his version of the events.
Richard Dabate, 40, allegedly told investigators that his wife, Connie, was shot to death by a masked intruder on Dec. 23, 2015. According to Dabate, he had briefly returned home to retrieve a forgotten laptop that morning and found an intruder in a “camouflaged suit with a mask.” Just then, he said he heard his wife come home from a local fitness class and yelled for her to run. The intruder then shot and killed his wife with a pistol he had bought a few months prior. After struggling with the man, Dabate said he was able to scare him off.
Since then, authorities obtained search warrants for Connie and Richard’s various electronic devices — among them Connie’s Fitbit, which she was wearing for her fitness class that morning. Rather than confirming Richard Dabate’s version of the events, Connie’s wearable fitness tracker told another story entirely: that she was still moving around more than an hour after her husband claimed she was killed, according to the BBC.
Investigators found other evidence that suggested Richard’s story was false — Connie was shot with Richard’s own firearm, and police dogs picked up no scent of a third person at the scene. While Dabate said he tussled with the intruder before being subdued, investigators found no evidence of a struggle or forced entry into the house.
Richard Dabate was reportedly in an extramarital relationship with another woman who was pregnant with his child, which authorities peg as motivation for the murder. According to the Hartford Courant, Dabate tried to cash in on Connie’s life insurance policy five days after she was killed — which the insurance company denied.
Debate is being charged with felony murder, tampering with evidence, and providing a false statement to police. He is currently not in custody, having posted bail of $1 million. He is expected to enter a plea during his next court appearance on April 27, according to local media.