Dalia Dippolito discusses prison break in recorded jail call after recent conviction

Boynton Beach woman convicted in murder-for-hire plot seeks bond during appeal

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor
Headline Goes Here Associated Press

Dalia Dippolito sits in court during her sentencing Friday, July 21, 2017, in West Palm Beach, Florida.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Dalia Dippolito discussed a recent prison break in a recorded jail call while she was awaiting sentencing after being found guilty of hiring an undercover police officer to kill her husband, a court filing obtained Thursday by Local 10 News shows.

The Boynton Beach woman's conversation with an unspecified individual is being used by a state prosecutor to counter her attorney's request that Dippolito be released from jail pending an appeal.

Dippolito was convicted last month of solicitation to commit first-degree murder and sentenced to 16 years in prison. It was her third trial.

Assistant state attorney Craig Williams wrote in Wednesday's filing that Dippolito should not be released from custody on an appellate bond because she is a flight risk. In the filing, Williams cited a July 8 jail conversation that Dippolito had with someone about a recent prison break.

"Shortly after the verdict, the defendant can be heard on tape enthusiastically discussing a recent case of how an inmate broke out of a maximum security prison using wire cutters that were delivered to him via drone," Williams wrote.

A transcript of the conversation is included as evidence.

"Totally random," Dippolito said, according to the transcript. "I was reading in the paper, there is this guy who was in prison in Texas and … he had somebody fly a drone over and drop off wire cutters."

She was wrong. The escaped inmate broke out of a South Carolina prison, although he was captured in Texas two days later.

Dippolito went on to describe the plot in detail.

"He put a dummy in his bed and had an 18-hour head start," Dippolito said. "And it turns out they caught him in a motel in Texas with $46,000 cash … and fake IDs. And it turns out somebody tipped them off, and someone ratted him out somehow. And they were saying how, um, prison, like, experts and stuff were saying, in the article, how they can't prevent drones from coming in. There's nothing you can do to prevent that."

"No, of course not," the other person said. "It's in the air."

"So that was the story," Dippolito said. "This is like the second time he has tried to escape."

"Wow, that's awesome," the person said. "A drone, somebody sent a drone with a knife?"

"With wire cutters," Dippolito said.

"So he cut the fence?" the person asked.

"Yeah," Dippolito said. "Everyone here was, like, pumped up when they read that."

The person with whom Dippolito was speaking tells her during their conversation that "it will never happen at Gun Club," a reference to the main Palm Beach County jail's location on Gun Club Road.

"God, settle down," Dippolito said.

Dippolito was found guilty of hiring an undercover police detective whom she thought was a hit man to kill her then-husband in 2009, saying that she was "5,000 percent sure" she wanted him dead. The Boynton Beach Police Department staged a phony crime scene on the day that Dippolito's husband was supposed to be killed and recorded her reaction.

Her 2011 conviction and 20-year sentence were thrown out on appeal. Last year's trial ended with a 3-3 hung jury.

Dippolito has since given birth to a son, who is now 1 year old, while she was out of jail on house arrest between the second and third trials.

Williams wrote that Dippolito "has proven to be a greater threat and flight risk."

"In-house arrest provides little protection when this defendant can orchestrate the ultimate crime using a telephone and manipulating others to carry out her schemes," Williams wrote.

Court records show that a bond hearing previously scheduled for Aug. 9 was canceled Thursday. No explanation was given. 

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