ROCKVILLE, Conn. (WTNH) — We’re one week into the murder trial of Richard Dabate. The 45-year-old is accused of killing his wife, Connie, at their Ellington home. The testimony Tuesday focused on Connecticut State Police K-9 teams and what they found on the day of her death.
The K9s had been called to Birchview Drive in Ellington on the morning of Dec. 23, 2015. They were tasked with tracking, following ground scent and odor, as the search for a suspect was underway. It was reported by Dabate that a masked man had entered their home, shot his wife to death, and left him injured and tied to a chair, before running out the back of the house.
During Dabate’s trial, the three state police K9 handlers, who responded that day, took the stand. They were asked by the prosecution and defense what areas they covered and what these dogs found in an attempt to locate the intruder.
“[It was] determined there were no exit trails leaving that residence,” Trooper Ryan Cloukey, the first handler on the scene, said.
Sgt. Anthony Cristy, the second handler on scene, testified next. He told the court, “I don’t believe there was an exit trail.”
During Tuesday’s testimonies, the defense got heated at times, pressing the two to admit the dogs aren’t accurate 100% of the time and things can be missed. While the third trooper said tracking doesn’t always yield a suspect, they pointed to the abilities and immense training these K9s go through.
At the conclusion of their investigation, state police believe Connie was murdered by her husband.
A key piece of evidence in this case is the Fitbit activity tracker she was wearing, which is expected to come up later in this trial.