PALM BEACH COUNTY (CBS4) – A Boynton Beach woman who claimed she was only acting when she tried to hire a hit man to kill her husband was sentenced to two decades behind bars.
The prosecution had requested that Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath sentence Dalia Dippolito, 28, to the maximum of 30 years in prison. After listening to arguments from both sides and allowing Dippolito’s husband to make a statement, the judge sentenced her to 20 years in prison minus time served.
Dippolito’s family pleas did not sway the judge to go easy on her. But it did not work.
“I’m sentencing you to 20 years in the Department of Corrections,” Colbath said.
In announcing his decision, Judge Colbath said she was motivated by greed and lust and was a “puppet master that was pulling all the strings.”
Last May, a jury convicted Dippolito of plotting to kill her husband Michael in August 2009. She was caught on a police surveillance tape telling the hit man, who was really an undercover Boynton Beach police officer, that she was sure she wanted Michael Dippolito dead. She offered him $3,000 to do the job.
Dippolito’s defense was that she was acting for a reality TV show.
Michael Dippolito spoke Thursday addressing the courtroom.
“If she would have owned it, like a normal person, and would have owned up to something I would respect that,” he said. “Instead, when I get to court I hear that I want a reality show. Not only was she…her lawyers alone… it’s ridiculous. You should have just said space aliens landed and they did it. That would have been a better defense.”
During her trial, prosecutors said the claim that she was doing this to appear on a realty TV show fell apart when she didn’t respond properly when police set up a fake crime scene and told her that her husband was dead.
“If this was a reality show stunt, when she was told by Sgt. Ramsey that her husband had been killed… her real reaction would have been, ‘What do you mean, how was he killed? This was a stunt! He can’t really be dead!’,” prosecutor Elizabeth Parker told the jury in her closing argument.
According to court records, Dippolito had tried twice before tried to kill her husband. One time, she allegedly tried to hire a Riviera Beach man to kill her husband but he later reneged. She also allegedly spiked her husband’s drink with odorless anti-freeze. He reportedly spit out the drink after commenting that it tasted like gasoline.
Dalia Dippolito and Michael Dippolito are in the process of getting a divorce, CBS4’s Ted Scouten reported.