A Florida woman caught on tape trying to hire an undercover officer to kill her husband was sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday.
Dalia Dippolito, 28, was convicted of solicitation to commit first-degree murder, a crime that Judge Jeffrey Colbath called “pure evil.”
Dippolito was arrested in August 2009 after Boynton Beach police staged a crime scene to convince her she had succeeded in having her husband Michael killed and recorded her reaction there and later when she discovered he was still alive. An ex-boyfriend had notified police she was looking for a hit man just six months after she married Michael Dippolito.
Her defense attorneys had tried to argue at her trial that the whole incident was a result of Michael’s efforts to get a reality TV show and that Dalia never intended for him to actually be killed. The jury did not buy that explanation.
Nor did Judge Colbath, who called her a “puppet master” who weaved a “web of deception” in a “relentless campaign to get rid of your husband” that was purely motivated by “self-indulgence.”
“There’s absolutely no moral justification for your conduct,” Colbath said at Thursday’s sentencing. He also told Dippolito that “your moral compass is askew.”
The maximum possible sentence for Dippolito’s crime was 30 years in prison. Because of her lack of a prior criminal record, the minimum under Florida sentencing guidelines would have been four years.
Colbath said he took several factors into consideration before deciding her sentence: deterrence, rehabilitation, punishment and retribution.
He recalled the several attempts Dippolito had made to get her husband arrested by planting drugs in his car and having others call the police on him. He said that he believed what drove her to elevate her campaign to murder was the $200,000 he was going to pay in restitution for crimes he was convicted of several years earlier and the discovery that she would need his signature to sell their house even after the deed was put in her name.
Colbath sentenced Dippolito to 20 years in the Department of Corrections with credit for time served on house arrest since she was taken into custody in 2009.
“I wish you well,” he said to her after announcing the sentence. “I hope things turn around for you. I hope you’re able to make something of your life.”