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Ellington man accused of killing wife goes to trial after years of delay

Dabate is accused of killing his wife two days before Christmas in 2015.

ELLINGTON, Conn. — After more than seven years since her death, Connie Dabate's alleged killer is finally facing trial.

The murder trial against Richard Dabate, the victim's husband, began Tuesday after years of delays. He is charged with murder, tampering with physical evidence and making a false statement in the death of his 39-year-old wife in their Ellington home two days before Christmas in 2015.

He has remained free on bail after initially being arrested in 2017.

The first day of the trial was mostly focused on introductions, including the handful of witnesses that prosecutors will use to build their case against Richard Dabate. Prosecutors said the witnesses will help establish a timeline of the death, which they said does not match the one the suspect gave to police after the murder.

RELATED: Murder trial with Fitbit evidence heads to jury selection

Richard Dabate, who has maintained his innocence, told police a man wearing a mask shot his wife and tied him up before he burned the alleged intruder with a torch. However, that timeline did not add up to the evidence police uncovered - specifically a Fitbit that Connie Debate was wearing when she was killed.

The Fitbit showed that Connie Debate was active and moving around the housing during the time the alleged intruder shot her.

“The more people have geo-location devices on them or devices like Fitbit that measure their activity and the more those devices sync or record the information where it can be recovered after the fact by law enforcement, more digital evidence is playing a role in uncovering crime," said Timothy Ronan, an attorney and a professor at the Quinnipiac University School of Law.

In addition to the Fitbit, additional technology is part of the case against Richard Dabate, including a smart home alarm system, and information from a computer and social media.

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At Tuesday's trial, Richard Dabate and his lawyer remained tight-lipped when they entered Rockville Superior Court.

A longtime neighbor of Connie Dabate's family spoke on their behalf.

“Connie’s family wishes they did not have to be here today. They are thankful the trial has begun and they are looking forward to Justice for Connie, said Wayne Rioux.

RELATED: Ellington man accused of murder appears before a judge for pre-trial hearing

The prosecutors believe the motive for the killing was Richard Dabate was allegedly concerned about a potential divorce.

The death has garnered national attention.


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