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‘Fitbit’ murder case against husband goes to jury

May 9, 2022 GMT

A jury has begun deliberating whether to convict a Connecticut man in the 2015 killing of his wife in a case built partly on evidence provided by her Fitbit exercise activity tracker.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys for Richard Dabate made their closing arguments before the murder case went to jurors Monday afternoon.

Dabate told police a masked man shot his wife, Connie Dabate, and tied him up before he burned the intruder with a torch 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 had with another woman, the Hartford Courant reported.

A defense attorney, Trent LaLima, told the jury that the state failed to prove Dabate’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. He also questioned the reliability of the data from the Fitbit tracker, saying the devices were not designed with the accuracy needed for court testimony in mind.

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Dabate has been free on $1 million bail. 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.