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Fitbit Data May Help Convict a Man of Murdering His Wife

His story didn't add up.

by Sheherzad Preisler
Apr 26 2017, 10:38pm

Richard Dabate told police that a masked intruder entered his family's home in Ellington, Connecticut, on December 23, 2015, and after a squabble, the intruder shot and killed his wife Connie, using Richard's gun. But Connie's Fitbit suggests otherwise.

That morning, Connie Dabate went to the YMCA for a spin class shortly after Richard dropped their kids off at school, according to records accessed by the Hartford Courant. Between school and work, Richard said he received a notification that his house's alarm system went off so he quickly rushed home. There, he got into a tussle with the intruder who tied him up, then his wife came home and the stranger shot her.

The police were suspicious of Richard's story from the get-go, as there was no evidence of a break-in or a struggle. Plus, three different dogs only found his scent on the outskirts of their home, they learned that Richard had impregnated his girlfriend, and police found a note on Connie's phone titled "Why I want a divorce."

But Connie's Fitbit data is a big part of the evidence police used to charge Richard. She didn't take it off after her workout, and detectives found that she was walking around the house for about an hour after Richard said she was shot. She moved 1,217 feet between when she arrived home and her final step at 10:05 am. Six minutes after the tracker said she was inactive, Richard activated the panic alarm for the house's security system from his key fob. Five days later, he tried to cash in Connie's $475,00 life insurance policy; the request was denied.

Richard is out on $1 million bail for now, with his next appearance in court set for Friday. He's up for felony murder, providing a false statement, and tampering with evidence. While many are skeptical of trackers' accuracy and some complain of weight gain instead of loss, the device may lock a murderer up for good.

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