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A Florida woman convicted of attempting to hire an undercover cop to murder her husband is hoping for a new trial as her lawyer calls her "the most misunderstood woman in the United States."
Dalia Dippolito was originally convicted in 2011 after being recorded in a conversation in which she paid an undercover police officer $7,000 to kill her husband of five months Michael Dippolito, the Associated Press reported. The case was publicized nationally through the television series "COPS" as well as other magazine shows.
Dalia Dippolito's case was also the subject of last year's season premiere of the Oxygen series "Murder For Hire."
“Dalia is the most misunderstood woman in the United States,” attorney Brian Claypool told ABC News' “20/20” in a recent interview. “The perception that people have in the world about Dalia does not equate with the Dalia that I know.”
Michael Dippolito was married to another woman when he first met Dalia Mohammed in Boynton Beach, Florida, in late 2009. He had hired her for sex through an escort service, but he quickly fell in love and divorced his wife.
Things quickly turned sour, however. Michael testified in 2017 that Dalia proceeded to steal money from him, tried to get his probation revoked by planting drugs in his truck, and spiked his ice tea with antifreeze in an attempt to kill him, according to the AP.
Dalia has maintained her innocence in the case, though her defense has differed throughout multiple trials. In her first trial, she maintained she knew she was being recorded by police and Michael came up with the idea of creating a murder-for-hire video in hopes becoming a reality television star, ABC News reported.
This defense was abandoned in subsequent trials, where her defense accused the Boynton Beach Police Department of staging a fake crime scene for “COPS."
“'COPS' filming with the Boynton Beach Police Department had nothing to do with this investigation," Boynton Beach Police public information officer Stephanie Slater told ABC News. "It was just a coincidence as far as timing was concerned. The men and women of the Boynton Beach Police Department did an incredible job on this case, and Mike Dippolito is alive and well today because of it."
Dalia was convicted in 2011, but the case was thrown out on appeal — prompting a retrial. In 2017, she was convicted again and sentenced to 16 years in prison, the AP reported at the time. Prosecutor Craig Williams called Dippolito "a master manipulator" who needed to be imprisoned "to protect society" at her 2017 conviction.
"If she wants something, first-degree murder is not enough for her," Williams said, according to the AP. "She'll do whatever it takes."
The Florida Supreme Court rejected Dalia's appeal late last year, the AP reported. She is currently incarcerated at a women's prison in central Florida with a release date of 2032.
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