Richard Dabate, the husband of 2015 murder victim Connie Dabate, was sentenced to 65 years in prison on Thursday. Prosecutors say that Richard Dabate’s police statements describing the murder did not match data present on Connie’s wearable activity tracker, Fitbit.
In December 2015, Richard Dabate of Connecticut told police that a masked intruder broke into the home he shared with his wife. Dabate alleged that the intruder tied him to a chair and shot his wife, killing her. It’s a truly tragic slaying, except that’s not what reports show happened. In 2017, Dabate was charged with felony murder after the deceased’s Fitbit data revealed that she was at the gym when he alleged she had been murdered. Yesterday, Dabate was sentenced to 65 years in prison according to the Associated Press following a conviction by jury this past May.
“It enables us to get a little bit of closure, even though it won’t bring Connie back. As a family, we can move forward,” said Keith Margotta, Connie Dabate’s brother, after the sentencing.
According to his arrest warrant, Richard Dabate returned home after forgetting his work laptop when he encountered the intruder rummaging through an upstairs closet at around 9:00 a.m. Shortly thereafter, Connie Dabate returned home and was shot by the intruder. However, footage from a local YMCA confirms that the victim was at the gym during this time. Fitbit distance and activity data obtained by law enforcement indicates that she was actually murdered at 10:05 a.m, with the warrant stating: “Victim #1's ‘Fitbit’ registers movement at 1005hrs. This is the last movement registered by the victim’s ‘Fitbit’.”
This is actually not the first time a Fitbit was used to help solve a murder as investigators in 2018 noticed that heart rate data from Karen Navarra’s Fitbit placed her death five days prior to when her body was found.