Dalia Dippolito won't testify in murder-for-hire retrial

Retired LA police detective testifies for defense

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor, Ian Margol - Reporter

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Boynton Beach woman accused of hiring an undercover police officer to kill her husband won't testify in her murder-for-hire retrial.

Dalia Dippolito told Palm Beach County Judge Glenn Kelley on Monday that she won't testify. The 34-year-old woman didn't testify in her first trial in 2011.

Dippolito is accused of paying an undercover police officer, who was posing as a hit man, to kill her husband in 2009. The Boynton Beach Police Department staged a crime scene and recorded her reaction on the day her husband was supposed to be killed.

The fourth day of Dippolito's retrial began with testimony from an expert witness for the defense. Tim Williams, a retired Los Angeles police detective, said he disagreed with the tactics used by the Boynton Beach Police Department during its investigation.

"You don't coerce anyone to be involved in an investigation, to make a statement or anything else, because anything that results from that could be, may be and will be tainted," Williams testified.

Dippolito was convicted of solicitation to commit first-degree murder in 2011 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. However, the Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed the conviction in 2014.

Prosecutors allege that Dippolito offered an undercover officer $7,000 to kill her then-husband.

Defense attorneys claim the Boynton Beach Police Department wanted to gain attention by soliciting the "Cops" television show and violated Dippolito's constitutional rights by setting her up with the help of former lover Mohamed Shihadeh, who became a confidential informant for police. He testified last week that he was coerced by police into helping them and that he never actually thought she would go through with it. However, during cross examination, he admitted that he thought Dippolito was sincere about wanting her then-husband dead.

Closing arguments are expected to being Monday afternoon.

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