Wife Accused In Infamous ‘Murder For Hire’ Case Faces 3rd Trial

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WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami/AP) — A Palm Beach woman accused of trying to hire a hitman to kill her husband is hoping the third time will be the charm as she heads to trial once again.

Opening statements got underway Thursday in the third trial of Dalia Dippolito.

Prosecutor Craig Williams told the three-woman, three-man jury that Dippolito wanted her husband, convicted conman Michael Dippolito, killed. She wanted possession of his money, their townhouse and his cars, so she plotted her husband’s “destruction,” Williams said.

“She is absolutely, overwhelmingly guilty,” Williams said.

Dippolito is accused of trying to hire a hitman to kill Michael Dippolito in 2009. But that hitman was really an undercover cop from the Boynton Beach Police Department.

Secret recordings made by the police show Dippolito allegedly negotiating with the “hitman.”

Police set up a fake crime scene, too, telling her the job was done. Her attorneys say the police were using her to find fame.

Her case drew national attention when those secret recordings went viral and were shown on the television show “Cops” which had been in town filming at the time.

In the video, Dippolito says she is “5,000 percent” sure she wants her husband killed. Her attorneys say she was coerced.

Dippolito’s attorney, Brian Claypool, portrayed his 34-year-old client as a victim of an overzealous Boynton Beach police department that wanted to gain fame on “Cops.” He said Dalia Dippolito had no intention to kill her husband, but was egged on by an informant and an undercover police officer posing as a hit man.

“This case was a fiction created by the police department to create a script for ‘Cops,'” Claypool said. “A murder-for-hire is pretty juicy for a TV show.”

Dippolito’s 2011 conviction and 20-year sentence were overturned on appeal. A retrial last fall ended with a hung jury.

The trial is expected to take about two weeks.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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