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Florida Woman Sentenced to 20 Years for Murder Sting

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.) -- Dalia Dippolito, the Florida woman who was found guilty of hiring a hitman to kill her husband just six months after they got married, was sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday.

Going into the sentencing, Dippolito, 28, faced up to 30 years in prison for solicitation to commit first-degree murder.

She was arrested in 2009 after detectives in Boynton Beach, Florida set up an undercover sting operation targeting her after they were tipped off by an old friend that Dippolito wanted her husband, Mike Dippolito, dead.

Working with police, the friend, Mohamed Shihadeh, set up a meeting for Dippolito with a "hit man" who was actually an undercover Boynton Beach police officer.  Their conversation, too, was videotaped.

The meeting was recorded on hidden camera and shows the officer, Widy Jean, warning Dippolito that once their meeting ended, she wouldn't have an opportunity to change her mind about having her husband killed.

After Dippolito "hired" Jean, there was more camera work to be done.  They set up a fake crime scene at the Dippolitos' home to make sure it looked like Mike Dippolito really had been murdered.  When Dalia Dippolito arrived at the house and was told by police that her husband had been killed, two cameras caught her erupting into a fit of tears.

The police called it the worst acting job they'd ever seen.  They said the act continued in the police station interrogation room, where Dalia Dippolito denied killing her husband.

The tapes, of course, told a different story.  Police arrested Dippolito and, this past April, she went on trial on charges of solicitation to commit first-degree murder.

Dippolito's lawyers couldn't deny what was on those police tapes, but attorney Michael Salnick told the jury that nothing was what it seemed.  He claimed that Dippolito's husband was never going to be a victim.  Instead, he said, Mike Dippolito orchestrated the whole thing.

Defense attorneys argued Mike Dippolito was a fan of shows like the Jersey Shore and Cheaters which led him to plan a fake murder-for-hire so he and his wife could get their own reality show.

Dalia Dippolito expected her husband to tell investigators it was a hoax after she was arrested, defense lawyers said.  But when Mike Dippolito took the stand, he rejected the reality show idea.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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