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Man pleads not guilty in murder case using Fitbit evidence

ROCKVILLE, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut man who police say gave an account of his wife’s death that differed from information on her Fitbit pleaded not guilty Friday to murder and other charges.

Richard Dabate appeared at a hearing in Rockville Superior Court, where his lawyer entered the pleas on his behalf. Free on $1 million bail, he did not comment afterward.

Connecticut State Police allege Dabate killed 39-year-old Connie Dabate at their Ellington home two days before Christmas in 2015, while their two young sons were in school.

Dabate told investigators a masked man shot his wife and tied him up before he burned the intruder with a torch. Authorities responded to a burglary alarm at the home and found Richard Dabate with superficial knife wounds, with one arm and one leg zip-tied to a folding chair.

But police said evidence contradicted Dabate’s story and timeline of events, including information from Connie Dabate’s Fitbit that showed she was still moving around the house an hour after Richard Dabate said she was shot.

State police said the gun used to shoot Connie Dabate was bought by her husband two months before the killing, and police search dogs only picked up Richard Dabate’s scent at the scene. There also were no signs of a struggle in the house, troopers said.

The 40-year-old Dabate also told his pregnant girlfriend before the slaying that he was going to divorce his wife, state police said in an arrest warrant affidavit.

Richard Dabate’s lawyer, Hubert Santos, has said his client is innocent and will fight the charges.

Dabate shaved off his beard before Friday’s court appearance. His case was continued to May 26.

It wasn’t clear where his two sons are staying.

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