Connecticut woman’s Fitbit tracker key evidence in murder trial

VERNON — Jury selection has begun in the case of a Connecticut man accused of killing his wife after the woman’s Fitbit data contradicted his claims that an intruder was responsible for the 2015 homicide.

Police said Richard Dabate initially told investigators his wife was shot and killed by a masked intruder in their Ellington home. But a key piece of evidence in the prosecution’s case against the 45-year-old emerged when Connecticut State Police said they obtained the data from a Fitbit fitness tracker used by his wife, Connie Dabate.

The data shows Connie Dabate was moving around after the time when her husband told investigators the intruder assaulted him and killed his wife, according to the arrest warrant.

Richard Dabate is free on $1 million bond after pleading not guilty to murder, tampering with physical evidence and making a false statement in the case, according to court records.

The case, which drew national attention, is now moving forward to trial six years after police were initially called to the family’s Birchview Drive home on the morning of Dec. 23, 2015.

A tentative date of April 5 has been set for the trial to begin, according to the clerk’s office in state Superior Court in Vernon.

According to his arrest warrant, Richard Dabate admitted to having an affair with a woman who was pregnant with his child. He initially claimed to investigators that his wife was unable to have another baby, so the couple did “untraditional things” to have a child with a friend who was single, and they planned to co-parent together, the warrant stated.

But Richard Dabate, who had two children with his wife, later changed his story, according to the warrant, telling investigators the pregnancy was “unexpected.”