Dalia Dippolito Found Guilty in Florida Case

May 13, 2011 by  
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West Palm Beach Florida

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The jury of six took barely three hours to come back with a guilty verdict on the one count of solicitation to commit first-degree murder.

The 29-year-old Dippolito barely showed any emotion as the verdict was read. Dippolito, who now faces up to 30 years in prison, was led quietly out of the packed courtroom in handcuffs by sheriff’s deputies.

Earlier, the alternate two jurors who sat through today’s closing arguments, said after they would have voted the Boynton Beach woman guilty. The two, who were dismissed this afternoon, said that they were not swayed by defense attorney Michael Salnick’s arguments.

“He can take a steel girder and bend it into a pretzel,” Sandra Clutter said she would think while hearing Salnick speak during the high-profile trial. “Dalia is certainly getting her money’s worth.”

Clutter said she observed Dippolito’s demeanor and noticed her giggling on Thursday. But today the reality set in, and she observed her crying.

The remaining jurors had asked to see two videos as they began deliberations.

Both the defense and prosecution had two hours to sum up their cases for jurors this morning.

Chief Assistant State Attorney Elizabeth Parker: “The evidence is overwhelming… they can’t say she didn’t do it.”

She likened Dippolito to poison candy: attractive outside, deadly inside.

Salnick, the defense attorney, said there are many unresolved questions. “Dalia Dippolito is asking you to let her wake up from this nightmare,” Salnick said, asking jurors to find her not guilty.

The defense case, predicted earlier in the trial to last two days, was over in less than two hours Thursday.

Source: Pbpost.com

Police have suspect in Yale murder

September 15, 2009 by  
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MIDDLETON, CT — According to the Associated Press police in Connecticut say they’ve executed search warrants on a person of interest in the slaying of a Yale University graduate student.

737yalevictimThey say two search warrants for DNA and other physical evidence have been served at the apartment of 24-year-old Raymond Clark III. Clark was handcuffed and escorted out of the apartment building and into a silver car. No charges have been filed.

Authorities say Clark will be released after police get the evidence they need from him and his apartment. The New Haven police chief isn’t describing Clark as a suspect. He says police are hoping to compare DNA taken from him to more than 150 pieces of evidence collected from the crime scene.

Graduate student Annie Le vanished one week ago. Her body was found in the basement of a research building at on campus at Yale.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Multiple national news networks reported Monday that police investigating the murder of a Yale University graduate student have a suspect in the case.

ABC News and MSNBC reported that the person failed a lie-detector test and had what could be defensive wounds.

Police are hunting for the killer who stuffed a body believed to be that of a Annie Le behind a wall in the high-security laboratory building where she worked.

Police found the body around 5 p.m. Sunday, on what was to have been 24-year-old Le’s wedding day.

An autopsy was underway on Monday to verify the identity of the body, found in a cable duct in the Yale medical school building. Police would not say Monday if they have a suspect, but said that nobody is in custody.

“We’re not believing it’s a random act,” said Officer Joe Avery, a police spokesman. He would not provide any further details, but said no one else is in danger.

The building where the body was found is part of the university medical school complex about a mile from Yale’s main campus and is accessible to Yale personnel with identification cards. Some 75 video surveillance cameras monitor all doorways.

“It’s a frightening idea that there’s a murderer walking around on campus,” said 20-year-old Muneeb Sultan, a chemistry student. “I’m shocked that it happened in a Yale building that had key-card access. It’s really sad.”

Police have not provided any details on the condition of the body found or how the woman died.

A friend said Monday the doctoral student never showed signs of worry about her own personal safety at work, although she did express concerns about crime in New Haven in an article she wrote last year.

“If she was concerned about (it) she would have said something to someone and they would have known,” Jennifer Simpson told CBS’ “The Early Show.” ”And Jon (her fiance) would have known, her family would have known, friends would have known.”

Simpson called Le, a pharmacology student from Placerville, Calif., friendly and affable to everyone.

“She was a people person,” Simpson said. “She loved people. She loved life. We just can’t imagine anybody wanting to harm Annie.”

Another friend, Laurel Griffeath, echoed those thoughts on NBC’s “Today” show.

“I can’t even imagine someone mad at Annie, much less wanting to hurt her,” Griffeath said.

Police are analyzing what they’re calling “a large amount” of physical evidence.

They will not discuss suspects, other than to say Le’s fiance is not a suspect and has assisted in the investigation.

Campus officials have said that the security network recorded Le entering the building by swiping her ID card about 10 a.m. on Sept. 8, and have been baffled before Sunday’s gruesome discovery that she was never seen leaving.

The university planned a candlelight vigil at 8 p.m. Monday at the Ivy League university. The Yale Daily News says an e-mail to the Yale community invites participants to “bring a candle and join us in solidarity.”

Yale President Richard Levin offered support to Le’s family and her fiance, Columbia University graduate student Jonathan Widawsky. The couple was to marry Sunday in Syosset, N.Y., on Long Island’s north shore.

“The family and fiance and friends now must suffer the additional ordeal of waiting for the body to be positively identified,” Levin said.

Le wrote an article that was published in February in the medical school’s magazine. The piece, titled “Crime and Safety in New Haven,” compared higher instances of robbery in New Haven with cities that house other Ivy League schools. It also included an interview with Yale Police Chief James Perrotti, who offered advice such as “pay attention to where you are” and “avoid portraying yourself as a potential victim.”

“In short, New Haven is a city and all cities have their perils,” Le concludes. “But with a little street smarts, one can avoid becoming yet another statistic.”

Le, who worked in a laboratory in the five-story building’s basement, was reported missing Sept. 8. Her ID, money, credit cards and purse were found in her third-floor office.

More than 100 local, state and federal police had been searching the building for days, using blueprints to uncover any place where evidence or Le’s body could be hidden.

Investigators on Saturday said they recovered evidence from the building, but would not confirm media reports that the items included bloody clothing.

Authorities also sifted through garbage at a Hartford incinerator Sunday, looking through trash that was taken from the building in the days since Le went missing.

No one answered the door at the Widawskys’ gray, ranch-style in Huntington, N.Y. on Monday.

“He is a very nice young man,” next-door neighbor George Mayer said of Jonathan Widawsky. “His family, they’re all just wonderful people — very, very nice people.”

Both families belong to the same temple.

Mayer, whose mother had been invited to the wedding, said he hopes whoever committed the crime “gets justice — that he gets whatever he deserves.”

Yale students on Monday called the finding sad, but some said the discovery doesn’t make them feel less safe at Yale.

“Obviously it’s a city and there are safety concerns,” said 18-year-old Peter Spaulding, a student from Maryland. “It can happen anywhere. You have to go on with life.”

Law student Lindsay Nash of West Chester, Pa., said she doesn’t sense a heightened level of fear on campus.

“There’s always an attention to safety here,” she said. “I think there’s perception that you need to be careful regardless.”

Fort Pierce: Jeremy Palacio charged with attempted murder

August 12, 2009 by  
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A St. Lucie County man’s quick reflexes may have saved his life Tuesday night after a man tried to shoot him point blank in the head during a fight at a house party but only grazed his head, according to sheriff’s officials. Deputies arrested two men today in that shooting.

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Jeremy Palacio, 21

Jeremy Palacio, 21, of Fort Pierce, faces attempted murder charges in connection with the shooting of 20-year-old Dereck Gervais in the driveway of a home in the 2800 block of S. Jenkins Road west of Fort Pierce around 11 p.m. Tuesday. Robert Bourbon, 19, of Fort Pierce, was arrested on charges of being an accessory to attempted murder.

Witnesses told deputies they saw Gervais arguing with Palacio in the driveway of the home during the party, then heard the shot and heard Palacio yelling “You all don’t want no more of this.”

A friend drove Gervais to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center, where he told deputies that during the argument he felt something pressed against the side of his head and quickly brushed the gun away with his hand just before he heard the shot go off, according to the report. The bullet only grazed his head.

Witnesses told deputies that Bourbon was standing next to Palacio and helped him get away into a car after the shooting, according to the report. Deputies later found the car and interviewed the driver, who told deputies he heard Bourbon and Palacio bragging about the shooting on their cell phones. Later this morning deputies found and arrested Palacio and Bourbon at a home in the 5300 block of Wintergarden Parkway in Fort Pierce.

The two residents of the home, identified by deputies as Christopher Alfonso and Michael Laneve, were arrested on charges of holding an open house party where alcohol was served to minors.

Source: Tcoasttalk.com

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Robert Bourbon

Boynton woman arrested wanted husband dead

August 5, 2009 by  
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BOYNTON BEACH, FL — Boynton Beach Police have charged a woman in a murder-for-hire plot. The intended target was her husband.

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According to police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater, Dalia Dippolito is charged with solicitation to commit first-degree murder.

This morning, Dalia received a phone call while working out at the gym. When she got home she found police crime tape around her townhouse, with a crime scene technician dusting for fingerprints.

A Boynton Beach detective then informed her that her husband was the victim of a murder and was dead. Slater says Dalia collapsed into the sergeant’s arms and sobbed.

Dippolito was then taken to police headquarters where she came face-to-face with the man police said was the killer, who shot her husband twice in the head.

It turns out that “killer” was actually an undercover police officer. She then learned her husband was actually alive in the next room.

The crime began on Friday night, when Boynton Beach police received information from a confidential informant who said that Dippolito wanted to hire someone to kill her husband of six months.

On Saturday afternoon, police say she and the confidential informant met in a car at Mobil gas station on Gateway Boulevard to make the arrangements.

During the conversation, police say she gave the confidential informant a down payment of $1,200 for the hit man to buy a handgun to be used as the murder weapon. She also provided photos of her husband and their home. Police say she asked when the murder was going to happen and offered to get her hair done in Boca Raton to create an alibi.

She also spoke about how she would deny her involvement and provide police false information and names to keep the investigation away from her, according to police.

Police say before leaving the car, she asked if this was a “solid deal” and said she didn’t want to hear any excuses later about why it did not happen.

On Monday afternoon, Dippolito met with an undercover BBPD officer posing as the hired hit man in the parking lot of a CVS. During this encounter, the undercover agent asked if she was sure she wanted him killed.

Dippolito laughed and said, “I will be very happy.” She agreed to pay him $3,000 when the job was done, according to police.

The undercover officer asked her one more time if she was sure about having her husband killed. She responded, “I’m not going to change my mind. I am 5,000% sure I want it done. When I set my mind to something, I get it done,” police said.

Source: wptv.com

Watch here as Boynton Beach Police inform Dalia Dippolito that her husband is dead. The twist – Dippolito paid an undercover Boynton Beach Police Officer to have him killed. She soon learns that her husband is very much alive and she’s being charged with soliciation to commit first-degree murder.

Blogger George Sodini Kills 4 people at LA Fitness

(CNN) — A gunman walked into an LA Fitness gym outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, turned off the lights and fired off 50 rounds, killing three women before killing himself Tuesday evening, police said.

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The man didn’t speak but was carrying a gym bag with a note inside it. He was found dead in the gym lying on top a gun about 7 feet away from a victim, said Charles Moffatt, Allegheny County police superintendent.

At least 10 other people were injured in the barrage of bullets that sent people in the gym ducking for cover, Moffatt said.

A law enforcement source identified the gunman as George Sodini, a 48-year-old gym member.

Moffatt would not release the name of the victims during a Wednesday news conference.

Sodini was a systems analyst in the finance department of K&L Gates, a law firm with an office in Pittsburgh, said Mike Rick, a spokesman for the firm. Sodini had worked for the firm since 1999, Rick said.

Neighbors described Sodini as a bit of a recluse. They said he had stopped talking to neighbors.

The gunman apparently was on a mission, Moffatt said.

“He did what he set out to do, and I think nobody could have stopped him, ” he said. Video Watch whom the shooter may have been targeting »

Moffatt would not confirm a newspaper report that Sodini’s ex-girlfriend was wounded in the shooting.

He also did not say what was written on the note that was found in Sodini’s gym bag. But the law enforcement source said that the gunman in the note “talks about his hatred of women.”

Sodini entered the fitness center around 8 p.m. Tuesday and went straight to an aerobics classroom, where he opened fire with multiple handguns, Moffatt said.

More than two guns have been recovered, the law enforcement source said, and at least one was registered to Sodini.

The shooting victims arrived at three major hospitals in the area.

A spokeswoman for UPMC Mercy Hospital confirmed five female shooting victims arrived at the facility with multiple gunshot wounds. “All arrived in critical condition,” hospital spokeswoman Linda Ross said. “Three of them were upgraded to serious condition overnight.”

Allegheny General Hospital received two wounded patients at its trauma center, a spokesman said. Both victims are women and were listed in fair condition early Wednesday.

A St. Clair Hospital spokesman said three shooting victims arrived there Tuesday night; two were in stable condition and one, who was shot in the chest, died at about 8:55 p.m.

Perry Calabro of nearby Bridgeville told CNN he was between racquetball games at the gym when he suddenly heard screaming and multiple gunshots. He said he ran out but didn’t see the gunman or others.

Other witnesses told CNN affiliate WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh that the lights went out before they saw flashes in dark, later realizing it was gunfire.

Sodini apparently left behind an online diary that details his loneliness and longing for a female companion — and his growing rage at what he perceived as rejection by women. The diary lists Sodini’s dates of birth and death, with the death date listed as Tuesday, the same day as the shootings.

The source who identified Sodini provided a month and year of birth that matches the birth date listed on Sodini’s diary.

The diary seems to offer a rare glimpse into the mind of the suspected killer.

“Why do this?? To young girls? Just read below. I kept a running log that includes my thoughts and actions after I saw this project was going to drag on,” the diary begins.

Throughout the log, the writer refers to a shooting that he is planning as an “exit plan.”

The first entry is November 5, 2008. “Planned to do this in the summer but figure to stick around to see the election outcome,” it says.

The December 22 entry says: “Time is moving along. Planned to have this done already. I will just keep a running log here as time passes. Many of the young girls here look so beautiful as to not be human, very edible. After joining this gym, started lifting weights and like it.”

The Web site on which the diary appears is registered to George Sodini of Pittsburgh. It lists an address in or near Scott Township. The law enforcement source said Sodini lived in Scott Township.

Third Suspect Arrested in Disappearance of L.A. Designer

August 3, 2009 by  
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SANTA CRUZ — The last of three suspects has been arrested in the disappearance of an Los Angeles fashion designer., who authorities believe is now killed.
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Santa Cruz police report that Adam Hunt, 29, of Watsonville, surrendered to police and was arrested at 12:40 a.m. Saturday morning.

Elias Sorokin, 29, vanished during a business trip to Northern California.

Sorokin is a co-owner of a clothing business called Kucoon.

Friends last heard from Sorokin on July 20.

He told them he was driving from Oakland to Santa Cruz to meet an acquaintance.

His plans were to return to L.A. the following morning, friends have said.

Detectives believe Sorokin was kidnapped and robbed in the course of a pre-arranged marijuana transaction at a residence in Santa Cruz.

Police are treating the case as a homicide investigation.

Santa Cruz police arrested Stewart Skuba and Kenneth Klamp, each 29-year-old Santa Cruz residents.

Skuba is being charged with kidnapping with the intent to commit robbery.

Clamp is currently being charged with a parole violation.

Hunt is also charged with kidnapping with the intent to commit robbery.

There was a $1 million arrest warrant for Hunt before his surrender Saturday.

Police believe that the men had a prearranged meeting to sell a large amount of marijuana and that the deal went sideways at a condominium at 244 Felix St. in Santa Cruz.

In the days following his disappearance, someone tried to use his check card at a Target store in Watsonville and cash one of his business checks at a bank in Santa Cruz.

Sorokin’s burning truck of was discovered a few days later in an unincorporated, mountainous area of Santa Cruz County off Empire Grade Road near Bonny Doon.

Law enforcement say it’s unclear how the truck caught fire or how long the truck had been parked in that location before it burned.

Sorokin’s body has not been located though police believe he was killed before his truck was dumped.

But friends remain hopeful.

They have announced a $20,000 no-questions-asked reward for information leading to Sorokin’s safe return.

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