ELLINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) – The suspect at the center of the so-called Fitbit murder took the stand on Thursday morning.
Richard Dabate, who is accused of killing his wife, Connie, at their Ellington home in 2015, was called to the stand on Thursday as the defense’s witness.
News 8’s Eva Zymaris has been inside the courtroom during the trial, where no cameras are allowed.
When on the stand, Dabate recounted how he met Connie back in 1997 through a mutual friend. He said they were just friends at first, but their relationship progressed quickly. They got engaged and then married in July of 2003.
During the testimony, Dabate recounted the morning of Connie’s death and being confronted by an alleged intruder. He said that once they were in the basement, he only heard one gunshot and, “saw Connie fall motionless to the ground.” Dabate claims the intruder injured him and tied him to a chair.
The state says that’s not the case and pressed Dabate on how he “staged” it all, pointing out the inconsistencies in his story, including his timeline of events.
Initially, he told investigators he was confronted by the intruder soon after returning home that morning, but on Thursday, he said he hung around for a bit before this all went down.
It was insinuated by the state, that based on the GPD from Dabate’s phone, he never even left the home. Instead, they say he remained at the home getting ready to kill his wife.
The state also asked why after learning an intruder was in the house that Connie, “didn’t call 911, she didn’t run away, she didn’t push the panic button…” Instead, Connie allegedly ran into the basement.
News 8 asked Dabate’s defense team about this testimony as they were leaving court.
“It was a long day, there was a lot of testimony, a lot of argument. You’ll see more argument next week. We’ll let it rest there,” said Trent LaLima, Dabate’s attorney.
At certain points, the defense moved for a mistrial, saying questions from the state were out of line.
The couple shared two children together, and Dabate told the courtroom that their youngest son had a cleft lip and needed medical treatment, which added some pressure on their relationship due to trips from Connecticut to Boston and the finances incurred.
When asked about his relationship with Connie, Dabate said, “we had good days and bad days,” but said during the time leading up to Connie’s death, even after he told her about the affair and pregnancy, that the couple had more good days than bad.
“I loved two women, and I didn’t want to push either of them away,” Dabate told the jury.
During the testimony, Dabate talked about his relationship with Sarah Ganzer, who also took the stand in the trial. Dabate said their relationship started in 2015 and said that there was never pressure from Ganzer to get a divorce from Connie. Ganzer became pregnant with Dabate’s baby, and Ganzer has previously said that she had every intention of raising the baby on her own.
Dabate said, “life has irreversibly changed for the worst,” when talking about life after Connie’s death. He mentioned that his children talk about their mother often.