It looks like the honeymoon ended very quickly for Michael Dippolito.
The 38-year-old Florida man met his pretty, dark-haired wife Dalia, 26, at a local Starbucks about a year ago. After a whirlwind affair, the couple married in late January, three days after his divorce from an earlier marriage was finalized, according to the Palm Beach Post newspaper.
“We hit it off,” Michael Dippolito told Matt Lauer Monday on the TODAY show. “Me and my wife actually got along so well we were together 24/7.”
So Dippolito was stunned to learn that his new bride hired a hit man to take his life, according to police.
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“It hasn’t sunk in. I don’t really get what really happened,” Dippolito told Lauer.
Michael said he and Dalia had a fairly set routine — they went to the gym together, visited his family Friday nights and ate Sunday dinner with her family.
He told Lauer he couldn’t imagine why his wife would want him dead, but officials believe the motive may have been financial. Michael recently transferred the deed to a $243,000 townhouse where the couple lived to his real-estate agent wife, according to the Miami Herald.
Michael, who said he works from home doing e-mail marketing, spent seven months in state prison in 2003 and 2004 after being convicted of grand theft and organized fraud. His lawyers told the TODAY show those convictions are unrelated to the alleged murder-for-hire plot.
According to police, after a male friend of hers tipped them off, Dalia Dippolito hired an undercover police officer posing as a hit man to kill her husband for the bargain price of $3,000, plus $1,200 for the purchase of a gun.
Video: Police: Wife hired hit man to kill husband Dalia was charged with solicitation to commit first-degree murder Aug. 5 and was released from jail Thursday, Aug. 6, after posting $25,000 bond. She is now under house arrest at her mother’s home in Boynton Beach. She has denied the charges.
‘5,000 percent sure’
Police taped the conversations and said that when the faux hit man asked Dalia if she wanted her husband murdered, she laughed and said, “I will be very happy.”
“I’m not going to change my mind,” she allegedly said. “I’m 5,000 percent sure I want it done. When I set my mind to something, I get it done.”
Officials said they set the stage to make it appear Dalia’s plan had worked. Dalia left for an LA Fitness gym at about 5:30 a.m. on Aug. 5. Not long after, she received a call from police saying that her husband had died.
The police kept up the ruse until they took Dalia to the police station, where she discovered her husband was alive and well in the other room.
Michael Dippolito initially couldn’t believe his wife was behind the plan until he heard the tapes.
“When I got down to the police station the tapes were played for me and I heard my wife very clearly,” Dippolito told Lauer on the TODAY show.
He also watched the police interrogation. “It was very uncomfortable to see it … [But] it helped me with the whole thing,” Dippolito added.
Dippolito has filed for divorce.
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