Something about the story did not add up. That was the conclusion police came to after interviewing Richard Dabate shortly after his wife, Connie, was found dead in the couple’s basement.
Dabate claimed an unidentified man broke into the home, tied him to a chair, then shot and killed his wife after she returned home from the gym. He claimed he came home from work to get his laptop to find an intruder upstairs. He could not remember whether he set the alarm on the house, and claimed the intruder killed Connie and tried to use a torch on him. Dabate stated he wrestled with the intruder and burned him with the torch, causing him to flee.
However, police found no evidence of a struggle, no forced entry and nothing had been taken from the home. K-9 units found no scent of the mysterious attacker. Then, a piece of technology ultimately led investigators to determine that Dabate was lying.
Fitbit as Evidence in a Murder Case
Connie wore a Fitbit daily to track her fitness. She was wearing it on her waist when police found her body. Police acquired a warrant to check records from the Fitbit, and Richard and Connie’s cellphones and computers to determine if they revealed any useful information.
Richard claimed he returned home around 9 a.m. the morning his wife died. Records showed he sent an email from his home to his supervisor at 9:04, saying he would be late because the home’s alarm had been tripped.
Police found that Connie made posts to Facebook around 9:45. Her Fibit showed she walked a total of 1,217 feet in the home between 9:18 and 10:05. However, Richard claimed Connie had come home from the gym and was killed in the basement, no more than 125 feet from where her vehicle was parked.
Based on this evidence, Richard Dabate was charged with murder, tampering with evidence and giving false statements to authorities. Charges are currently pending and Dabate is out on bail.
How Police Use Technology in Criminal Cases
As advancements to technology have come at a rapid pace, electronic devices have become increasingly important in criminal cases. However, in order to search for information from these devices, police must obtain a warrant. While some leading technology companies have fought to protect their consumers, others have not hesitated to provide information to authorities.
Recently, police obtained records from an Amazon Echo in a murder case to determine what happened at the time of death. Last year, a man was charged with arson and insurance fraud after records from his pacemaker showed he was lying about being asleep when the fire started.
On a regular basis, we challenge evidence that has been seized by law enforcement in our clients cases. If you believe that evidence was seized from you or a loved one in violation of your constitutional rights, call Wallin & Klarich now.
Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled criminal lawyers have been successfully defending clients facing serious criminal charges for over 35 years. We’ve helped thousands of clients in their time of legal need, and we can help you now.
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