A jury on Tuesday found an Ellington man who was accused of killing his wife and staging a cover-up guilty on all charges.
The trial was five weeks long and the jury had 600 exhibits and the testimony of 130 witnesses to consider in their deliberations.
Richard Dabate is accused of killing his 39-year-old wife, Connie, in December 2015. He was charged with first-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence and providing a false statement and found guilty on all counts.
The family gathered outside court and a statement was read, saying justice has prevailed and the trial was not about a Fitbit, but about a “cold-blooded and planned murder.”
Richard said his wife Connie was killed around 9:05 a.m., but her Fitbit and surveillance video and GPS cell phone data show that Connie had gone to the YMCA and didn’t return until 9:18 a.m. that morning.
The fate of an Ellington man accused of killing his wife and staging a cover-up is now in the hands of a jury.
Her Fitbit showed casual walking around at 9:27 a.m. and gave no indication she was ever running from an attacker. Her last movement was at 10:05 a.m.
The state also questioned how a masked intruder got into the home when Richard was home the entire morning. It was also questioned why there was no sign of forced entry and absolutely nothing was stolen.
Richard’s defense attorney then reminded the jury that Fitbit devices are not 100% accurate and said it would be difficult for his defendant to stage a crime scene within the six minutes between 10:05 a.m. and when he set off the alarm system.
The defense also said that the DNA of an unidentified man was found in six different places including the upstairs closet door, the family safe and the handle of the gun used to kill Connie.
On Tuesday, the jury asked for a transcript or recording of the direct questioning and the cross-examination of the expert who testified about the DNA.
A verdict in the murder trial against Richard Dabate is now in the hands of the jury. Dabate is accused of killing his wife Connie back in 2015.
Dabates’ defense team said outside court Tuesday that they are very disappointed in the outcome and they are going to continue to fight going forward.
The defense team said they did not think Dabate would be posting bond, which was raised to $5 million Tuesday.
A motive the state has argued in this case was that Richard got his mistress pregnant, but during his testimony, Richard said Connie knew and their relationship was improving.
“The thorough and thoughtful examination of technology was key to this investigation and was significant in proving that the defendant was guilty of this crime,” State’s Attorney Matthew Gedansky said. “In the end, though, this was another case of domestic violence. And though much progress has been made in recent years to support victims and survivors and to hold abusers accountable, these domestic violence homicides are still happening so we must continue to work together to end domestic violence.”
Richard’s sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 16, 2022.
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