The workout tracker showed that Connie Dabate was moving around her house well after the time that her husband, Richard, told police that a masked intruder with a “Vin Diesel voice” shot her dead, according to an arrest warrant filed in the case.
A trail of other digital fingerprints — including home alarm sensors, Facebook activity and cellphone records — also undermined Richard Dabate’s elaborate account of his wife’s shooting death on Dec. 23, 2015, police reports said.
And, investigators said, it wasn’t hard to find a motive.
The 39-year-old computer technician had a pregnant girlfriend and had promised her he was getting a divorce, the warrant says. “I’ll see you tomorrow my little love nugget,” he wrote in a text message to the woman the day before the murder.
He also called about his wife’s $475,000 life insurance policy five days after she was killed.
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Dabate’s lawyer has said he is innocent and expects to be cleared at trial.
A 50-page warrant application lays out the state’s case against Dabate in rich detail, from his “evolving” statements about the supposed home invasion to a list his wife kept on his phone titled “Why I Want a Divorce.”
“He takes money from a lot of accounts that don’t belong to him, says he is sorry, but takes no responsibility for it,” the list began. “He lies to people and makes them think we have a great sex life and that we are this super couple.”
When police arrived at the couple’s Ellington house 16 months ago, Connie Dabate was dead in the basement, shot twice with a gun her husband had recently purchased. He was on the kitchen floor, with a chair zip-tied to his arm and leg and a bunch of small cuts on his body.
He told investigators that he had gone to work and then returned home because he was alerted that an alarm had been tripped. He claimed a robber clad in camouflage ambushed him and was holding him captive when his wife returned home from the gym.
He said he tried to warn the mother of two to get out of the house, but the intruder chased her, wrested a gun away from her and shot her. He claimed the man disabled him with “pressure point” techniques, tied him to a chair, began stabbing him with a knife, and burned him with a blowtorch.
He supposedly was able to turn the flame on the assailant, who fled. By Dabate’s account, he dragged himself up the stairs and called 911.
But police dogs picked up no scent of an intruder, and blood stains in the house didn’t match up with his timeline.
And the details of his account kept changing, said authorities. First, he told detectives that his wife knew he had helped out a friend by impregnating her and that the three of them planned to co-parent the baby. Later, he admitted his wife was unaware of the affair or the baby, the warrant says.
A list of digital clues goes on for pages. Among them: the last record on Connie Dabate’s Fitbit recorded her walking 1,217 feet at home between 9:18 a.m. and 10:10 a.m.
That showed she was moving around an hour after her husband claimed the intruder killed her and that she covered 10 times the distance between her car and the basement — the path her husband said she took.
Dabate was charged in mid-April with murder and evidence tampering. He is free on $1 million bond.
In a Facebook post soon after his wife’s murder, he thanked friends for their support.
“Many questions, unanswered, but we are all doing our best to move forward, as impossible as it seems,” he wrote. “We try to stay strong, for the boys.”