US & Canada

Fitbit contradicts husband's story of wife's murder - police

Dabate Image copyright Connecticut State Police
Image caption Mr Dabate is currently free after posting a one million dollar bail

A cheating US husband has been charged with killing his wife after police said data from her wearable fitness tracker contradicted his version of events.

Richard Dabate, 40, claimed to have seen Connie Dabate shot to death more than an hour before her Fitbit device recorded her last movements.

He told detectives that she was killed by a home intruder in the US state of Connecticut on 23 December 2015.

But police say her electronic device tells a different story.

Mr Dabate was charged this month with murder, tampering with physical evidence and making false statements about his 39-year-old wife's death.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption Richard Dabate (R) and Connie Dabate

Police say he initially told them he had just returned home at around 09:00 after dropping off his two sons when he was attacked by a home intruder.

He claimed the perpetrator was a "tall, obese man" with a deep voice like actor Vin Diesel's and wearing "camouflage and a mask", according to an arrest warrant.

The accused said a .357 revolver registered in his name was used by the purported attacker to shoot Mrs Dabate.

The victim, a pharmaceutical representative, was shot twice, once in the back of her head, with the pistol that her husband had purchased two months earlier, say prosecutors.

Mr Dabate, a computer technician, claimed the home intruder then tied him up after a struggle.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mrs Dabate was wearing a FitBit at the time of her death

Police found Mr Dabate with an arm and leg bound by zip ties to a chair in the kitchen at the crime scene.

He had what police described as superficial knife wounds.

Investigators say physical evidence showed no sign of the struggle described by Mr Dabate.

Data found on a Fitbit that Mrs Dabate had worn for an exercise class that morning shows she did not take her last movements until 10:05, more than an hour after her husband claimed to watch her die.

Also, police sniffer dogs picked up no scent of other people in the house in the hours before Mrs Dabate's death.

Her husband was in a relationship with another woman, who was expecting his baby - which detectives suspect as a motive for the attack.

According to investigators, Mr Dabate had texted his wife a year before her death saying: "I want a divorce."

Bank statements obtained by the Hartford Courant newspaper showed credit card charges from hotels and bouquets of flowers for his girlfriend, as well as strip clubs.

The accused is currently not in custody after posting bail of $1m.

His next trial date is scheduled for 28 April.

Mr Dabate's lawyer says his client is innocent.

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