An alleged murder in Ellington, Connecticut, in December, 2015, has been solved, and police and prosecutors are saying that it is a clear case of Richard Dabate having killed his wife, even though he went to lengths to disguise the evidence. Dabate’s alleged guilt was disclosed in part due to a Fitbit fitness tracker that victim Connie Dabate was wearing at the time of her death. Her husband, Richard Dabate, had told police that she had been killed by a burglar. And that story might have been convincing enough had the husband’s timeline of the burglary been a bit later in the day. Instead, police now believe that Richard Dabate killed his wife with a recently purchased handgun and made up the story, all so he could live a new life with a pregnant girlfriend he had been seeing on the sly.
Timing is everything, and no more so than in this murder investigation, because, according to Richard Dabate, as reported by the Hartford Courant, he had fought with a burglar until he had been subdued, just before said burglar had chased his wife, Connie Dabate, into the basement where he shot and killed her. He told the police, according to a police report, that the burglar had been a “tall, obese man” wearing “camouflage and a mask” and had sounded like actor Vin Diesel. Dabate said that the incident had occurred at 9 a.m. on December 23, after his wife had returned home from the gym.
The New York Daily News reported that, according to the state police investigation, an analysis of the Dabate home’s “alarm system, computers, cellphones, social media postings and Connie Dabate’s Fitbit to create a timeline that contradicted Richard Dabate’s statements to police.”
The Courant listed the device’s timeline, which included two videos being posted to Facebook from Connie Dabate’s cell phone at 9:40 and 9:46 a.m. She also posted a message to a friend on the social media platform. At 10:05 a.m., her Fitbit, which monitors personal metrics like heart-rate, sleep time, and the distance a person walks, registered its last bit of data after she had walked within the house a total of 1,217 feet.
The police also found that Richard Dabate had been having an extramarital affair and had gotten the woman pregnant. His wife, apparently unaware of the relationship, had taken it upon herself to make a list of why she wanted a divorce, noting that her husband had taken money from “accounts that don’t belong to him.”
Amidst the electronic evidence were also text messages between the pregnant girlfriend and Dabate. In fact, as People reported, Dabate texted his mistress the day before the alleged murder, telling her he was getting a divorce and would see her the following day.
But when confronted with the fact that police knew of the mistress, Dabate offered up an explanation, according to the Courant, regarding the extramarital relationship. He said his wife knew all about it, that she had wanted children but was unable to become pregnant, and when he had attempted an “untraditional” method, he had gotten the other woman pregnant. But he insisted that his wife, when she learned of the pregnancy, had suggested they “co-parent” the baby.
Dabate eventually told police that the pregnant woman was a high school friend and that there was “a lot of cheating going on in the beginning on both sides.” He also admitted that the pregnancy was “unexpected.”
“This situation popped up like a frickin’ soap opera,” he said, according to the police.
Investigators ultimately pieced together a different series of events than what Dabate said occurred.
Police contend that Richard Dabate had checked to determine his wife’s schedule before his arrival at his Connecticut home. He subsequently shot her with a.357 Magnum he had purchased a few months before. He then attempted, just five days after the shooting, to cash in a life insurance policy worth $475,000.
According to Patch, the 50-page warrant attested that Dabate had constructed an elaborate story of the burglar “manhandling” him before shooting his wife.
Dabate was arrested on Friday, April 14, and charged with felony murder, tampering with physical evidence and making false statements following his wife’s death.
Dabate has since posted a $1 million bond. He is scheduled to be back in court on April 28.
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