Wednesday marked day two of the murder trial of Richard Dabate.
Dabate is accused of killing his wife, Connie, in their Ellington home on December 23, 2015. Wednesday’s testimony came from a combination of State Police, EMTs and the doctor who treated Dabate at Hartford Hospital.
Dabate tells investigators a masked intruder, dressed in camouflage, entered the family’s house, and shot his wife Connie in front of him. Dabate also tells investigators he was wounded when the intruder zip-tied him to a chair and cut both legs. Much of Wednesday’s testimony focused on those wounds.
Some who treated Dabate, including EMT Kimberly Gambacorta and Hartford HealthCare EMS Medical Director Charles Johndro, described the wounds as “superficial” and “minor.” They say the wounds were shallow. EMT John Miegel demonstrated how the cuts on the front of both legs seemed to have similar angles.
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Late in the day, a dramatic moment occurred when Johndro, who was the emergency room doctor who treated Dabate at Hartford Hospital, was asked if he thought the wounds were “self-inflicted.” Defense attorney Michael Fitzpatrick immediately objected, and Judge Corinne Klatt halted the questioning and then ordered the jury out of the room.
A side-bar discussion was held to establish Johndro’s knowledge of these wounds. Johndo discussed his extensive experience, both in a hospital and military settings, with these traumatic injuries. He said the shallow depth of the wounds were the hallmark of self-inflicted cuts.
Dabate’s defense argued that the cuts could’ve been done by someone else with a small blade, such as a box cutter. Johndro has never seen the weapon which is alleged to have been used to create the wound. When the jury re-entered, Johndro was allowed to only say the cuts were “consistent” with self-inflicted wounds.
Ellington volunteer firefighter Vince Gambacorta testified that he was first on the scene. He was initially called because of a fire alarm. Gambacorta said he saw Dabate lying face down on the kitchen floor, zip-tied to a chair, with blood smeared on the floor. He said he heard Debate moan and say, “they’re still here.” Gambacorta then said he called police who found Connie Dabate’s body in the basement.
Another contentious moment occurred when State’s Attorney Mathew Gedansky questioned witnesses about a perceived lack of emotional response from Dabate. Those testifying said he had no reaction when emergency responders told investigators, in Dabate’s presence, that there was a DOA (Dead on Arrival) in the basement.
The defense argued the lack of reaction, hearing his wife was dead, was because he already knew following a previous discussion with the first responding State Trooper.
Other points of focus were on the allegations of an intruder. None who testified say they saw any indication of a person fleeing. Defense argued that an intruder could’ve escaped through a wooded area behind the home a 7 Birch View Dr.