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‘Fitbit’ murder trial heads to closing arguments

May 7, 2022 GMT

ROCKVILLE, Conn. (AP) — Closing arguments are expected to begin Monday in the trial of a Connecticut man whose guilt or innocence in the death of his wife could hinge on evidence provided by her Fitbit exercise activity tracker.

Richard 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 Richard Dabate’s story and showed she was moving around an hour after he said she was killed.

Jurors heard from more than 100 witnesses — including Dabate — over 22 days. Dabate testified he came home after realizing he’d forgotten his laptop and found a large man wearing camouflage inside the house, the Hartford Courant reported. The man shot Connie Dabate to death in their basement and stabbed Richard Dabate and tied him to a folding chair, he testified.

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Dabate also admitted that he had been having an affair with another woman at the time of his wife’s death and had lied about it to police.

Prosecutors called numerous people from Dabate’s neighborhood who testified they didn’t see a man in camouflage, or anything else they thought was suspicious, on the day of the killing. A woman called by the defense testified she was cleaning a house nearby and may have seen a deer or a dark-green figure passing by a window.

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.