ROCKVILLE, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut judge has dismissed all jurors and ordered new ones to be chosen to hear the case of a man accused of killing his wife, whose Fitbit activity tracker is expected to be a key piece of evidence.
Judge Julia DiCocco Dewey in Rockville said Tuesday that jurors who were picked early last year for the trial of Richard Dabate before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the courts had been empaneled too long, and some had moved out of state.
The case is set to return to court Oct. 5, and a new jury selection will be scheduled.
Dabate, 45, who remains free on bail, is charged with murder and other crimes in the Dec. 23, 2015, killing of his wife, Connie Dabate, at their Ellington home while their two young sons were at school.
Richard Dabate has maintained his innocence and told investigators a masked man shot his wife and tied him up before he burned the intruder with a torch.
But police say information on Connie Dabate’s Fitbit contradicts Richard Dabate’s story, showing she was moving around an hour after he said she was killed.
Tolland State’s Attorney Matthew C. Gedansky has said he believes Richard Dabate’s motive was concern about a potential divorce and alienating family and friends. He said Richard Dabate had affairs.
Richard Dabate’s lawyer, Trent LaLima, has said evidence of the affairs was “just an attempt to dirty up Mr. Dabate’s reputation.”
LaLima said Tuesday that he is looking for another attorney to help him with the case, after his law partner, prominent Connecticut defense lawyer Hubert Santos, died in June.