Alleged FitBit murderer pleads ‘not guilty’ to killing wife

Richard Dabate, accused of killing his wife in 2015, pleaded not guilty on Friday at the Connecticut Superior Court.

The Hartford Courant reports that Dabate, 40, appeared briefly in court on Friday with his lawyer, Hubert Santos. The attorney entered the not guilty plea for Dabate and waived his client’s right to a probable cause hearing.

The case received nationwide attention when Dabate claimed that a masked intruder with a “voice like Vin Diesel” broke into his Ellington, Connecticut, home and shot his wife, Connie Dabate, 39, in the head. The incident occurred just before Christmas in 2015. The case received further attention when prosecutors announced that the victim’s Fitbit device showed that she was alive and active during the time that Richard Dabate claimed that she was already shot and killed.

On the day of the murder, police found the suspect partially tied up to a metal folding chair and laying on his belly. He had a few superficial knife wounds and a couple of burn marks, but his injuries paled in comparison to his wife’s injuries. She was found in the home’s basement, shot to death. Court documents state Richard Dabate claimed that he escaped death after he burned the masked intruder with a butane torch.

“Dabate stated he opened the bedroom door and saw the intruder in the closet looking through things. (He) stated the intruder was about 6’2′, larger than he was, and was wearing a dark green camouflage suit and mask. The intruder then noticed he was in the room, and he (the intruder) pulled out a knife. Dabate said the intruder then said something like, ‘give me your money, your wallet, and your PIN numbers, and if you don’t, I’m going to wait here for your wife and kids.'”

Prosecutors alleged that Richard Dabate concocted a false botched robbery story after killing his wife and staging a fake scene at the home. Detectives said Dabate was having an affair behind his wife’s back for seven years. His mistress was reportedly pregnant with his child when the murder occurred. Further, Richard Dabate allegedly tried to cash in on his wife’s $475,000 life insurance policy and withdrew $93,000 from her investment account shortly after her death.

State police indicated that Dabate has changed his story of the events a number of times since the investigation began. In addition to Connie’s FitBit data, detectives obtained information from the home’s alarm system, cellphones, laptop computers, and social media accounts that contradicted Richard Dabate’s versions of what happened.

Richard Dabate is charged with murder, tampering with evidence, and making a false statement. He’s currently out of jail on a $1 million bond. His next scheduled court appearance on May 26.

[Feature Photo: Facebook]