Richard Dabate was sentenced to 65 years in prison for killing his 39-year-old wife, Connie Dabate, at their home in 2015, just two days before Christmas. The case was particularly intriguing because of Connie's Fitbit, the activity tracker that served as evidence. Connie Dabate was fatally shot at the couple's home while their two young sons were at school.
The Richard Dabate trial lasted five weeks and involved 100 witnesses. One of the people who was present at the sentencing was Connie's brother, Keith Margotta. Following the verdict, he said:
"It enables us to get a little bit of closure, even though it won’t bring Connie back. As a family, we can move forward."
In the end, the jury in Rockville Superior Court found Richard guilty of murder, tampering with evidence, and making a false statement to authorities.
Initially, Richard Dabate told cops that a masked intruder broke into their house, murdered Connie, and tied him up. Upon investigating his claims, officers found superficial knife wounds on Richard and one arm and a leg zip-tied to a folding chair.
Richard Dabate's illegitimate affair with a woman and their child born thereafter
As per reports, Richard Dabate was having an affair with another woman, identified as Sara Ganzer. The duo have been co-parenting a kid together since 2019. In her testimony, Ganzer maintained that she did not plan to "blow up" Richard Dabate's family. Furthermore, she clarified that Richard never talked about using violence against Connie or planning to kill his wife.
In April 2017, authorities booked him for murder, tampering with evidence, and making a false statement. However, after posting $1 million bail, he was let go.
The fall of Dabate was the Fitbit device, which the prosecutors used at trial. They revealed that Connie's Fitbit data showed she was alive after Richard claimed she was dead. This discrepancy turned Richard into a primary suspect.
Prosecutor Matthew Gedansky accused Dabate of planning to murder his wife and stage a home invasion because his illegitimate affair with Ganzer and her pregnancy would come out in the open.
However, defense attorney Trent LaLima suspected the reliability of the Fitbit data. He stated that an unknown DNA was found in Dabate's home and on the gun that killed Connie.
After the verdict, defense attorney Trent LaLima said:
"I know today was a very difficult day for everybody in that courtroom, no matter what side you’re on or what your role was, it was a very emotional day. As Rick Dabate said in the court today, he is completely steadfast in his innocence and dedicated to proving his innocence."
He further added:
"Today was the close of just the first chapter of litigation in this case. We are going to continue to fight with the appeal. We look forward to continuing to fight for Rick Dabate. And we are confident, that in the end, Rick Dabate will prevail."
The murder of Connie Dabate drew national attention at the time.