WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Jurors watched Friday as a Boynton Beach woman accused of hiring an undercover police officer to kill her husband spoke with police in the hours after learning that her husband was dead.
It was all an act by Dalia Dippolito, prosecutors claim.
The police interrogation video was played in court Friday as evidence in Dippolito's third murder-for-hire trial.
Defense attorneys fought to prevent the entire interrogation video from being shown, but Palm Beach County Judge Glenn Kelley denied the request.
Boynton Beach police Detective Alex Moreno testified for the prosecution that police were first approached about Dippolito's plot to kill her husband by Mohamed Shihadeh, her former lover. He said police secretly videotaped Dippolito talking to Shihadeh about hiring someone to kill her then-husband.
Assistant state attorney Craig Williams played a portion of the video for the jury.
"I'll go get my hair done," Dippolito told Shihadeh of a potential alibi.
The video shows Dippolito handing money and a photograph of her husband to Shihadeh during their conversation.
Dippolito, 34, is accused of paying an undercover police officer, who was posing as a hit man, to kill her husband in 2009.
Jurors also heard a recorded telephone conversation between undercover Officer Widy Jean, who was posing as the hit man, and Dippolito.
The Boynton Beach Police Department staged a crime scene and recorded her reaction on the day her husband was supposed to be killed.
Jurors watched as police, leading Dippolito to believe that her husband was dead, brought Jean into the interrogation room. Dippolito denied ever meeting him.
Williams said during Thursday's opening statements that the jury would hear Dippolito, in her own words, tell the undercover officer that she was "5,000 percent sure" she wanted her then-husband dead.
Defense attorney Brian Claypool claimed that the Boynton Beach Police Department wanted to gain attention by soliciting the "Cops" television show and set her up with the help of Shihadeh, who was tricked into becoming a confidential informant for the police.
Dippolito was convicted of solicitation to commit first-degree murder in 2011 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. The Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed the conviction in 2014.
Her second trial last year ended in a mistrial with the jury deadlocked 3-3.
Prosecutors alleged in Dippolito's previous trials that she offered an undercover officer $7,000 to kill her then-husband.
Her former attorney argued in the 2011 trial that Dippolito thought she was being recorded as part of a hoax to get her husband on a reality TV show. She was found guilty, but the verdict was thrown out because of a mistake during jury selection.
The state called Dippolito's ex-husband, Mike Dippolito, as its first witness. He testified that he and his new bride met in 2009, while he was still serving probation.
"We got along really well," he testified. "We had fun together. We did a lot of things. She got me to do things I wouldn't do."
Assistant state attorney Laura Laurie asked if Dalia Dippolito's arrest on a charge of solicitation to commit first-degree murder shock him.
"Yes," he said.
Mike Dippolito claimed that she stole more than $100,000 in restitution money from him and tried to get him arrested. The felon testified that his former wife convinced him to give her the money so that she could help him get off probation. He said he never saw the money again.
Claypool asked Mike Dippolito during cross-examination if he thought Dalia Dippolito stole the restitution money.
"I know she did," he answered.
Throughout his testimony, Mike Dippolito avoided making eye contact with his ex-wife, looking her way only once when asked to identify her in the courtroom.
Mike Dippolito testified in the first trial but did not during last year's trial.