Jury Begins Deliberating in Richard Dabate Murder Trial

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After five weeks of testimony, the jury began deliberating the fate of Richard Dabate Monday.

Deliberations began after the prosecution and defense each gave closing arguments. The jury was sent into deliberations around 2:30 p.m.

Family and friends for both sides were present, as were seven state troopers who were involved with the initial investigation. The court room, which holds 60 to 70 people, was at capacity, all to hear final argument in the emotionally charged case.

Richard has pleaded not guilty to killing his wife, Connie, in their Ellington home in 2015. 

Connie Dabate's Fitbit showed her moving around an hour after Richard said she was killed and the jury heard from a wearable device expert last week who testified that those devices automatically sync and it was highly unlikely it would be off by an hour.

As expected, Fitbit Data was a primary focus of closing arguments. The state asserting that it established a timeline that contradicted the story Richard originally gave police on Dec. 23, 2015 - the day Connie was found shot in the couple’s home.

Richard Dabate took the stand during the trial and told jurors that he and Connie started talking about divorce in 2014 and that she knew he got his girlfriend pregnant.

Richard Dabate took the stand on Thursday telling the courtroom he loved his wife Connie Dabate and his alleged mistress.

Richard said his relationship with his wife started to improve and they took a romantic trip just days ahead of her murder.

Richard has maintained his innocence and said it was a masked intruder who killed Connie. According to police documents, Dabate said the intruder, dressed in camouflage, broke into their home and killed Connie around 9:05 a.m.

The state presented evidence trying to prove that Richard shot and killed his wife and staged the crime scene by planting blood evidence throughout the house, harming himself and placing his wallet, which he said the intruder was after, in the couple's backyard.

They also argued that Connie was unaware Richard got the other woman pregnant.

The state argued that Richard was under pressure from a pregnant mistress. The defense argued that there was no pressure and said Richard and Connie’s relationship was “in the best place it had been in a year.”

Connie Dabate's sister said Richard Dabate was shaken up when telling the family that she had died after a home invasion.

Both the state and the defense presented their hour-long closing arguments on Monday.

The state's opening summary asked the jury to consider why there were no signs of forced entry at the residence, why nothing was stolen and other questions.

State’s attorney Mathew Gedansky reminded the jury that surveillance video and GPS cell phone data showed Connie had gone to the local YMCA and returned home at 9:18 a.m. Her Fitbit showed casual walking around 9:27 a.m. and gave no indication she was running from an attacker. The Fitbit showed her last movement at 10:05 a.m., Gedansky said.

The defense said the burden of proof is on the state and questioned the electronic evidence reliability. Richard's attorney, Trent LaLima, reminded the jury that Fitbit devices are not 100% accurate and that their times correspond to the device it is synced with and those devices could be inaccurate.

As for the timeline, the defense said it shows only six minutes between the last Fitbit sign of movement and the time Richard triggered the home alarm system. They say six minutes was not enough time to stage the scene. The state, however, said in their conclusion, that Dabate staged the scene well before the murder took place.

“There’s been a lot over the last five weeks. I’m not gonna comment on the ups and downs and all the other stuff, but there’s been a lot of evidence We have a lot of work to do, but like I said, I look forward to arguing on Monday,” said LaLima.

LaLima also reminded jurors that the DNA of an unidentified male was found in six different locations. All, he said, were places Richard told police the intruder had been. That included the upstairs closet door, the family safe and the handle of the gun used to kill Connie.

In addition to Murder, Richard is also charged with tampering with evidence and giving a false statement to police. For a guilty verdict on any of these accounts, the jury must be unanimous.

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