Alternate juror in Dalia Dippolito murder-for-hire trial says he would have voted 'not guilty'

Posted at 4:49 PM, Dec 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-16 08:18:08-05

One day after the mistrial in the high profile murder-for-hire case of Dalia Dippolito, an alternate juror spoke about what likely caused the 3-3 deadlock in the jury room. 

"Somebody's life was on the line," said Widlet Jean. 

Jean claimed to know nothing about the case going into the trial as an alternate juror. But, after the hung jury he expressed strong opinions. 

"I think that was a set up," said Jean referring to the police investigation into Dippolito. 

The turning point for him was listening to Mohamed Shihadeh's testimony. Shihadeh was Dippolito's former lover and friend and became Boynton Beach Police Department's confidential informant. 

"The way people that it was, it wasn't like a big deal. Like he said when he went to the police station, he didn't tell them she was going to kill her husband. He said she was abused. And after that the next day they called him and changed the whole story," said Jean. 

After Judge Glenn Kelley declared a mistrial he polled the 6 jurors. Three said they believed Dippolito was guilty, three said not guilty. The defense team explained the votes were close to what they observed. 

"We were round tabling, thinking we have at least two, we thought two, three, maybe four," said Brian Claypool, one of Dippolito's defense attorney.

"Oh yeah, I was sitting there watching the videos, I like to make sure I have a good vantage point of the videos when they were being replayed and I was able to observe their body language," said Greg Rosenfeld, Dippolito's other defense attorney. 

The judge dismissed Jean and another alternate juror right before the jury got the case. He has mixed feelings about not being able to deliberate.

"I can say yes or no cause I already knew it would have been like that cause certain people, they don't use their common sense. They just go by what they were shown on the videotape," added Jean. 

We have reached out to the jurors who deliberated and have not heard back from anyone interested in commenting.

The state already announced it will retry Dippolito. There is a status check hearing scheduled for January 6th.