Where is Dalia Dippolito now? | The full story behind the crazy murder-for-hire plot

What did Dalia Dippolito do?

Dalia Dippolito became a focal point of national attention due to her involvement in a high-profile case related to a murder-for-hire plot against her then-husband, Michael Dippolito, in 2009.

The Boynton Beach resident was caught in an intricate police sting operation after soliciting an undercover police officer, whom she believed was a hitman, to murder Michael. The case first came to light when Dalia’s lover, Mohamed Shihadeh, informed the police that Dalia was looking to have her husband killed. Shihadeh subsequently became a confidential informant, setting the stage for a police sting operation to capture Dalia in the act.

The Boynton Beach Police Department orchestrated an elaborate setup, where an undercover officer posed as a hitman with whom Dalia met and negotiated. During the meeting, which was secretly recorded, she was seen discussing the planned killing, expressing her resolve to have her husband murdered, and even paying the purported hitman.

To gather further evidence and capture her reaction, the police staged a fake crime scene at the Dippolitos’ residence, and filmed informing Dalia of her husband’s “murder”. This footage was later circulated widely on national television and online platforms, displayed Dalia breaking down upon hearing the news, a reaction that was later scrutinized during her trial due to its perceived insincerity.

Legal proceedings spanned years and included multiple trials and appeals. Dalia’s defense throughout the trials was multifaceted, entailing claims of police misconduct aimed at generating publicity, as well as assertions that she believed the murder-for-hire plot was a scripted stunt intended for a reality TV show.

Why did Dippolito want to kill her husband?

The motivations behind Dalia Dippolito’s desire to have her husband, Michael Dippolito, killed have been explored and theorized upon throughout the case and trial, with various aspects highlighted. It is also worth noting that these aspects, while presented at the different trials and with a case as complex as this, include both the prosecution’s suggestions and the defense’s refutations so we can only speculate as to the exact reasoning.

One potential motive comes in the form of financial gain, with Dippolito’s assets and a potential life insurance pay out contributing toward this. Leading on from this, there were also discussions about ownership of the couple’s home, suggesting that Dalia might gain control over the property upon Michael’s death.

Marital issues are also another contributing factor here. Dalia was said to have had a lover called Mohamed Shihadeh, who ultimately became a police informant. This would tie into the lack of trust and being unhappy in her marriage, though the defense did contest these portrayals.

Michael Dippolito testified about various instances of deceit and manipulation on Dalia’s part, indicating a pattern of using scheming tactics to achieve her ends. In the past, Dalia had allegedly attempted to manipulate situations to get rid of her husband, such as trying to get him violated on his probation.

The exact reasoning behind Dalia’s actions remains a matter of legal and public speculation but these are definitely worth taking into consideration.

What happened during the trial?

At her trial, Dippolito’s defense attorney claimed that his client was tricked into signing the release form to appear on Cops. The defense attorney also claimed that her husband orchestrated the plot to get aired on the American TV show. In truth, the producers were outraged when investigators persuaded Dippolito to sign the release form before they questioned her, believing that, since it was done under color of law, it would be useless.

They later convinced Dippolito to sign a second waiver, saying they would give her a chance to tell her side of the story. Ultimately, both defenses failed, and Dippolito was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The state’s Fourth District Court of Appeal actually ordered a new trial in 2014, finding that the judge at the first didn’t do enough to ensure that jurors were not improperly exposed to pre-trial publicity. The appeals court found that the judge should have questioned the jurors individually, rather than as a group, regarding how much they knew about the case and as such, a retrial was approved.

Dippolito’s retrial began with jury selection on December 1st 2016. The jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict though and a mistrial was declared on December 14th. A second retrial was held in June 2017, and finally, on June 16, 2017, she was convicted again. On July 21st 2017, Dippolito was sentenced to 16 years (of the maximum of 20) in prison.

Where is Dalia Dippolito now?

As mentioned above, Dippolito was sentenced to 16 years in prison. As of now, she’s currently imprisoned at Florida’s Lowell Correctional Facility. She was placed on house arrest in 2016 as she would give birth to a son. The son’s father was revealed to be Robert Davis, a criminal with a long history of aggravated battery.

Dippolito attempted to appeal to the US Supreme Court but was refused in February 2020. Mohamed Shihadeh, the aforementioned lover of Dalia Dippolito, was also found dead in his Florida apartment on October 24th 2021.

Dalia Dippolito is scheduled to be released from prison in 2032, however, her attorney Greg Rosenfeld is still working to have her released.

Dalia Dippolito’s trial and journey through the criminal system throw big questions in the mix regarding entrapment, police practices and the legal system. What do you think of Dippolito’s case? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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