The retrial of a Florida woman accused of paying an undercover cop $7,000 to kill is underway and LawNewz.com is carrying a livestream of the trial that can be watched when court is in session, above.
Dalia Dippolito was captured on cameras during the television show “Cops” paying an undercover officer, but she says the entire thing was set up by “a corrupt department” to impress the producers of the television show.
The prosecution rested its case last week after only callying a few witnesses to the stand. One witness, Officer Widy Jean, was the undercover cop who posed as a hit man when he allegedly spoke with Dippolito about her desire to have her husband killed.
The prosecution also played audio and video recordings for the jury that they say captured conversations between Jean and Dippilito. Prosecutors claim one video also shows Dippolito giving a cash down payment to Jean for the “hit.” The payment is a key point for prosecutors as they argue it shows Dippolito’s willingness and intent to have her husband killed.
The lead detective also testified for the prosecution, but during cross-examination defense attorney Brian Claypool went right after the cop’s credibility and attempted to discredit the cop in the eyes of the jury.
In television interviews after the first trial, Dippolito has claimed she never intended to have her husband killed and she was just putting on an “act.”
After the state rested, the defense called its first witnesses on Thursday afternoon and a majority of their defense is expected to focus on alleged police misconduct in the handling of the sting operation that caught Dippolito.
That plan took shape on Friday as the defense called Boynton Beach Police Department spokeswoman Stephanie Slater to the stand on Friday and Claypool went right after her credibility. The defense attorney questioned the witness in a way that suggested Slater and the police department hoped to make a big splash while “cops” cameras were filming.
“You posted the footage, the video footage of Dalia Dippolito, the same day that that video footage was taken, correct?” Claypool asked.
“The same day, yes,” Slater admitted.
WATCH Staged ‘Murder’ Scene:
Former Boynton Beach police Sgt. Frank Ranzie also took the stand Friday for the defense and he criticized his former department’s handling of the case. Ranzie testified that investigators working the case “made some pretty big mistakes” and agreed that the mistakes were significant enough to have “compromised the integrity of this investigation.”
The defense will continue presenting its case on Monday and Claypool hinted to reporters late Friday that his plan for the second week of trial is to convince jurors this is not a case of murder-for-hire, rather its an example of a corrupt and out of control police department.
There is still no official word on whether Dippolito will testify in her own defense. She did not take the stand at her first trial.
Dippolito was convicted at her first trial in 2011 and sentenced to 20-years in prison for solicitation to commit first-degree murder with a firearm. However, an appeals court overturned her conviction in 2014 and granted her a new trial
Be sure to stick with LawNewz.com throughout the entire trial for the latest information and analysis from our team of legal experts.
[image via screengrab]