Lover-turned-informant of woman who plotted to kill husband is found dead

Lover-turned-informant of woman who plotted to kill husband is found dead
Dalia Dippolito’s former flame Mohamed Shihadeh, 40, is found dead on 24 October at his home in Florida

The former lover of a Florida woman convicted of plotting to kill her husband has been found dead 12 years after he turned her in to police.

Mohamed Shihadeh, 40, was found dead on 24 October at his home in Sebring, Florida, according to a police report. The cause of death is still pending.

Mr Shihadeh had dated Dalia Dippolito about a decade before he went to Boynton Beach Police in 2009 and claimed she had asked him to help hire a hitman to kill her husband Michael Dippolito.

Police set up a sting with an undercover officer posing as a hitman, who filmed Ms Dippolito agreeing to pay $7,000 for the murder and saying she was “5,000 per cent sure” she wanted it done.

The case captured national attention when Ms Dippolito’s arrest was featured on the television show Cops. She was filmed bursting into tears when officers falsely informed her that her husband was dead, before placing her in handcuffs.

Ms Dippolito was sentenced to 16 years in prison for soliciting first-degree murder at her third trial in 2017 after the conviction from her first in 2011 was thrown out on appeal and her second ended in a hung jury.

Dalia Dippolito is pictured in court during her trial for soliciting first-degree murder

Testifying in court, Ms Dippolito admitted that her tears in the Cops footage were fake and claimed she came up with the murder-for-hire plot because she wanted to be famous. She said she never intended to kill her husband and accused Mr Shihadeh of pressuring her into hiring a hitman.

The defence argued that investigators turned Mr Shihadeh into a reluctant informant after he initially went to police to seek help getting her out of an abusive relationship.

Mr Shihadeh supported that characterisation at Ms Dippolito’s second trial, saying he was pressured to become an informant or face prosecution himself.

But at her third trial, Mr Shihadeh admitted that Ms Dippolito once told him she put antifreeze in her husband’s iced tea in a failed attempt to poison him.

Mr Shihadeh, a father of two, was found dead last week by his brother after family members were unable to reach him for two days.

Toxicology tests to determine his cause of death are still pending. Officers discovered prescription medicine that he did not appear to be taking inside his apartment, according to a police report.

The investigation is ongoing and it is unclear if foul play is suspected.

At the time of his death Mr Shihadeh was on probation for violating court orders not to contact his ex-wife, according to The Palm Beach Post.

Court records obtained by the outlet showed he called his ex-wife nearly 100 times while serving a 12-month sentence for stalking her.

Ms Dippolito’s attorney Greg Rosenfeld expressed sadness at the news of Mr Shihadeh’s death, telling the Post: “Despite the personal demons he struggled with, Mohamed was brave in coming forward to tell the truth in Dalia’s trial about the abuse she suffered.

“He always aspired to have a better life for his family.”

Ms Dippolito, who lost an appeal to the US Supreme Court last year, is currently seeking a fourth trial after she claims she was not properly represented at her third.