BOYNTON BEACH, FL — Another day; another strange twist in the shocking murder-for-hire case in which a Florida wife allegedly botched a plan to have her husband murdered by a hitman —who turned out to be an undercover cop.
Closing arguments could be delayed in the trial of Dalia Dippolito if her attorneys decide to call a witness to refute shocking testimony that she had previously tried to kill her husband Michael Dippolito.
Dalia’s former lover Mohamed Shihadeh, a convenience-store owner who once had a bit part on Burn Notice, testified that Dalia had tried to poison Michael in the past by lacing his tea with anti-freeze. If Michael Dippolito gets back on the stand, his attorney says he would testify that he once took a sip of tea before being overcome by a foul taste and spitting it out.
Shihadeh dramatically testified Thursday that Boynton police pressured him to become a confidential informant to help them build the murder-for-hire case against her.
The jury had already heard heard that she promised a lover that they would be in “paradise island” once her husband was out of the picture, and later told undercover officer Jean Widy that she was “5,000 percent” sure she wanted her husband dead.
The judge has already denied Dalia’s attorney Greg Rosenfeld the chance to call a psychologist who coined the term “battered woman’s syndrome” in order to explain abuse can influence a person’s behavior.
The defense has claimed that Dalia never meant to kill her husband, but was set up by Boynton police in order to appear on the reality show COPS. Video of Dalia reacting to the staged crime scene went viral after it was posted on the Internet by Boynton police.
Rosenfeld stated that the defense team would have likely changed their strategy from the start of the trial if they’d known the jury would hear the poisoning allegations. Brian Claypool, another of Dalia’s defense lawyers, claim the evidence against her is “tainted,” and that her former lover was pressured into testifying against her.
This is Dalia’s third trial: In 2011, she was convicted of solicitation to commit first-degree murder and sentenced to 20 years behind bars. That conviction was thrown out by an appeals court, and another jury in December deadlocked.
Closing arguments are set to take place today.
Main photo: Dalia Dippolito at a hearing in February 2016 [Lawnewz Network / YouTube (screenshot)]