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A former NYPD officer accused of enlisting her boyfriend to help orchestrate the murders of his own teenage daughter and the officer’s estranged husband has been sentenced.
Valerie Cincinelli, 37, pleaded guilty in April to obstruction of justice after paying her boyfriend, John DiRubba, to hire a hitman to kill two people, according to the New York Times. The targets were DiRubba’s daughter, 15, and Cincinelli’s estranged husband, Isaiah Carvalho.
On Friday, Cincinelli was sentenced to 48 months in prison.
“I’m apologizing from the bottom of my heart,” a tearful Cincinelli told the judge, according to ABC 7 News. “I can’t believe I allowed myself to get to that place, that dark place.”
Cincinelli’s May 2019 arrest came after an elaborate sting by FBI agents working undercover. As previously reported, Cincinelli paid DiRubba $7,000 to hire a hitman to kill Carvalho in February 2019. Shortly before her arrest, authorities visited Cincinelli at her Long Island home to falsely report Carvalho’s death. Later that day, “an FBI agent, posing as the hitman, sent a text message to the informant (DiRubba) which included a photograph of the defendant’s estranged husband appearing dead in his car.”
Both Carvalho and the teenager were unharmed.
After authorities informed Cincinelli of Carvalho’s phony death, Cincinelli called DiRubba and said, “The hitman did it,” according to recorded conversations cited by the New York Daily News.
DiRubba turned to the FBI after Cincinelli included DiRubba’s daughter as one of her targets.
Cincinelli suggested the hit on Carvalho take place “in the hood,” or “the ghetto” to avoid suspicion, according to the Daily News. Cincinelli also suggested that DiRubba’s daughter be gunned down near her New Jersey school. When DiRubba claimed the hitman wouldn’t kill her near school, Cincinelli allegedly said, “Run her the f--- over. How about that?”
In court, Cincinelli’s attorney, James Kousouros, claimed DiRubba had control over Cincinelli.
“And then she suffered an unrelenting barrage over the course of a year, in which DiRubba and her husband conspired, together, to ruin her life,” said Kousouros, according to ABC 7.
Cincinelli and her husband were embroiled in a heated divorce, and Cincinelli believed Carvalho could acquire her pension, according to the New York Times. Cincinelli spent more than 10 years as an NYPD officer, including a stint with a domestic violence unit in Queens. In 2017, as her bitter divorce continued, she began dating DiRubba.
Cincinelli and DiRubba had a rocky relationship, in where both parties took out protective orders against one another. Prosecutors claimed Cincinelli was jealous of DiRubba’s daughter when he bought her expensive gifts.
When Cincinelli stated her desire to have DiRubba’s daughter murdered, he became a confidential source and recorded their conversations.
The recordings were presented in court on Friday.
“I’m just stressing about it, ‘cause it’s going to happen,” said DiRubba in a recording from May 2019.
“You say that every weekend, for the past month,” Cincinelli replied.
Cincinelli admitted to her actions before the judge.
“I deleted images on an iPhone with the intent to obstruct a federal grand jury investigation into the murder for hire,” Cincinelli said at the plea hearing, according to ABC 7. “I knew what I did was wrong, and I’m truly sorry, your honor.”
But prosecutors didn’t buy Cincinelli’s tears.
“I think her tears were because she got caught,” said attorney Dennis Lemke, according to ABC 7. “I don’t think she’s remorseful in any way.”
Despite the four-year prison sentence, Cincinelli will be eligible for home confinement in six months in light of good behavior.
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