Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dalia Dippolito Calling for “New Trial”

It’s a story straight out of a made-for-TV movie. Police waited for newly married Dalia Dippolito to return to home to inform her that her husband, Michael Dippolito, had been murdered. However, he was not dead. Instead, police set up the scene to record her reaction. They had already had her on tape paying an undercover officer, unbeknownst to her, to kill her husband. It was a very unique murder-for-hire sting operation. 

Just as bizarre was the trial, wherein Dalia claimed the unprecedented “reality-TV defense,” in which she claimed her and her husband set up the whole thing because they wanted to get a reality show. Michael Dippolito called the accusation “ridiculous.” After a three-week trial in 2011, Dalia was convicted of solicitation to commit first-degree murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison by Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath, who called Dalia “pure evil” during his sentencing remarks.

However, despite the Florida judge’s comment, he granted permission (two months later) for her to post a $500,000 bail, allowing her to live in her mother’s Boynton Beach home on house arrest while she seeks to overturn the convictions by appealing to Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal. Not bizarre enough, yet? Keep reading! Just after her sentencing back in 2011, Dalia originally claimed that she did not receive a fair trial because one of the key witnesses—who said he would be out of the country during the trial—was actually in Palm Beach County and did not testify.

Well, Dalia has filed a motion (2013) for a new trial, basically abandoning her 2011 excuse for one even better. The motion involves Boynton Beach police officer, Sergeant Frank Ranzie, the officer seen in the picture above breaking the news to Dalia that her husband is supposedly dead. Ranzie was a key witness at Dalia’s trial. Back in 2001, in an unrelated case, Ranzie was accused of child molestation of a 13-year-old girl and of witness tampering. During the course of the investigation he retained the legal services of Michael Salnick, the same attorney who represented Dalia Dippolito at her trial. Mr. Salnick, however, did not disclose this to Dalia at the time of trial, according to her new attorney, Andrew Greenlee. Dalia’s new motion states that “Salnick failed to obtain a written waiver demonstrating informed consent to the conflicting representation, in direct violation of Rule 4-1.7(b)(4) of the Florida Rules of Professional Conduct.”  

In their motion for a new trial, Dalia’s attorneys cite a memo from her former attorney, Salnick, stating that the prosecutor at Dalia’s criminal trial, Elizabeth Parker, knew of the conflict of interest, but never disclosed it to the court. Prosecutor Parker calls this claim "false," stating that they are only saying this “to attack the integrity of the system and those who are sworn to uphold the law…” Prosecutor Parker also said that it “is a desperate (and not atypical) response from a deluded convict.” Dippolito’s attorney says she discovered the alleged conflict from news reports when Sergeant Ranzie was accused in a child porn investigation in 2012. Ranzie was eventually cleared by the state’s attorney office after their investigation revealed Ranzie used a work laptop to view more than 400 images of porn but concluded none of the photos were of children, they were all from adult websites.

Despite Dalia’s bid for a new trial; even if she gets it she will surely face a losing battle, as there are multiple undercover surveillance tapes in which she admits to wanting her husband killed; one where she even says that she is 5,000 percent sure that she wants him dead. The Fourth District Court of Appeal, however, is currently reviewing Dalia Dippolito’s motion and a ruling is expected soon.

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