Judge denies Dalia Dippolito request

No hearing about witness

WEST PALM BEACH — A judge Monday morning denied a request from Dalia Dippolito's defense attorney to have a full-scale hearing on the mysterious appearance of a key witness who was supposed to be out of the country at the time of trial and unavailable to testify.

Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath did make a key factual finding that Mohamed Shihadeh - Dippolito's lover who reported her intent to kill her husband to Boynton Beach police - was in the country April 22, days before his video-taped testimony was played for jurors.

Shihadeh was later arrested for DUI in Boca Raton, bringing into question the veracity of his claim that he was in Jordan with his family and could take the witness stand in person.

While Colbath denied the request for a hearing this morning, the issue is expected to arise again on Dippolito's appeal of her conviction and 20-year prison sentence for attempting to hire a hitman to kill her husband, Michael Dippolito in 2009.

The Boynton Beach newlywed's defense attorney, Michael Salnick, has argued that Dalia Dippolito was denied her bedrock right to confront her accuser which includes jurors seeing and judging the accuser's testimony firsthand.