12:15 PM PDT, May 11, 2022
Richard Dabate has been convicted of murdering his wife at their Connecticut home, where he claimed a masked intruder had shot to death Connie Dabate in 2015.
But the 39-year-old woman’s Fitbit device became a key piece of evidence after it showed she was up and moving an hour after her husband said she had been killed.
A jury in Rockville Superior Court found Dabate guilty on all charges against him — murder, tampering with evidence and making a false statement to authorities. The verdict came Tuesday, following a five-week trial.
Dabate faces up to 60 years in prison. His sentencing hearing was scheduled for Sept. 16. Dabate, who had been free on $1 million bail, was taken into custody following his conviction and Judge Corinne Klatt increased his bond to $5 million.
His defense attorney said the verdict will be appealed.
The highly publicized case included testimony from Dabate that a large, masked man who sounded like actor Vin Diesel had burst into the family’s home and tied him up, then shot and killed his wife.
The murder occurred two days before Christmas while the couple’s two children were in school, investigators said.
Investigators said they later learned that Dabate was having an affair with a woman who had become pregnant and wanted him to leave his wife.
Wayne Rioux, a spokesman for the family of Connie Dabate, said justice had been served.
“The trial was not about Fitbit,” he said. “The trial was about the cold-blooded, planned murder of Connie Margotta Dabate. There will be no closure for the Margotta family, but there is finally justice for Connie.”
Prosecutors contended Dabate made up the home invasion to cover his killing of Connie. The husband killed his wife because his life was about to unravel because of his mistress’ pregnancy, authorities said.
The trial was delayed until this year because of COVID-19 shutdowns.