Police admitted that as part of an elaborate sting operation they lied to a Florida woman on trial for allegedly hiring a hit man to murder her husband. The wife's defense has claimed that she thought the whole thing was part of a reality TV show her husband wanted to do.
Boynton Beach Police Sgt. Paul Sheridan testified Tuesday that he misled Dalia Dippolito about the purpose of the waiver she signed for the police sting, to be taped for the fictional reality show, "Cops."
When asked if he lied to the woman about what the waiver was for, he said, "yes."
Dalia Dippolito is facing charges of solicitation to commit first-degree murder. In 2009, she allegedly hired an undercover police officer posing as a hit man to kill her husband, Michael Dippolito.
"If the defense had just been about what the cops did here, that the cops were negligent…this would become a very significant point," said said Dan Abrams, ABC News legal analyst. "The more the defense can make this feel icky and make it muddle what the investigators did, the better off they are."
Dippolito and her defense team contend that the murder-for-hire plot was part of her husband's elaborate plan to get his own reality television show and that no one was actually going to be killed. She expected her husband to tell police of the plot once she'd been arrested, defense attorneys argued.
The trial is close to wrapping up and Abrams said it's crucial for Dalia Dippolito to take the stand for her defense to have a chance.
"Imagine if you're her, if she's telling the truth and that is she's now on trial for murder when she thought she went on a reality show. When you think about how crazy that is, I think she would have to testify to explain her state of mind, what she was thinking, why she was thinking it. If she doesn't take the stand, I'm going to certainly look at the defense very skeptically," Abrams said.
Dalia Dippolito's former husband, Michael, has denied that the incident was a reality show plot. He testified in April that he was absolutely shocked to discover that six months into his marriage, his wife was plotting to have him killed.
On Tuesday, jurors watched video of Dalia Dippolito in the first moments she thinks her husband has been killed. The chilling video shows Dalia Dippolito appear to cry when police tell her that her husband is dead.
Police set up a fake crime scene in August 2009 to make her think her husband was dead. Dalia Dippolito had entrusted a lover to help her find a hitman to kill her husband. The lover, Mohamed Shihadeh, turned on her and told police.
When an attorney asks Boynton Beach Police Sgt. Paul Sheridan if Dalia Dippolito cried tears, Sheridan said, "She was faking it."
Jurors also watched police interrogation video of the 28-year-old woman. Police repeatedly asked the woman if she knew anybody that wanted to kill her husband.
Dippolito shakes her head no and says, "We are fine, like there's nothing."
The video shows the moment when police call the officer posing as a hitman into the interrogation room.
When Dalia Dippolito sees Officer Widy Jean posing as the hitman, she claims to not know him. Then, her husband who she thinks is dead appears in the interrogation room.
The defendant screams, asking for her husband to come to her.
"Oh my God, Oh my God! Come here please. Mike, come here," said Dalia Dippolito in the video.
Her husband refuses, saying, 'I can't...I heard you."
The prosecution also played a video of Dalia Dippolito with her lover in the parking lot of a gas station, allegedly plotting the murder.