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Dalia Dippolito makes phone call about a jail escape, prosecutors not amused

Posted at 1:54 PM, Aug 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-28 11:12:10-05

Maybe it was wishful thinking, but a phone call of Dalia Dippolito talking from her jail cell about an out-of-state inmate's escape with the help of a drone did not go unnoticed by the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office.

Dippolito was convicted and sentenced to 16 years in prison for trying to hire a hit man to kill her then husband.

Responding to her request for post-trial release and bond the state listed a number of reasons why that shouldn't happen.  

Shortly after the verdict, the state said Dippolito was heard on tape "enthusiastically discussing how an inmate broke out of a maximum security prison using wire cutters" delivered by drone.

Dippolito Jail Call 7/8/17 

Def: Totally random. I was reading in the paper, there is this guy who was in prison in Texas, and

James: Huh?

Def: There's a guy who was in prison in Texas James: Uh huh.

Def: he had somebody fly a drone over and drop off wire cutters. And he cut wires and escaped from prison. And he put a dummy

James: Wow, that's awesome!

Def: He put a

James: What a genius.

Def: He put a dummy in his bed and had an 18 hour head start. And it turns out they caught him in a motel in Texas with $46,000 cash and fake

James: Wait, how much?

Def: $46,000 cash.

James: Oh.

Def: and fake IDs. And it turns out somebody tipped them off. And someone ratted him out somehow. And they were saying how, urn, prison like experts and stuff were saying, in the article, how they can't prevent drones from coming in. There's nothing you can do to prevent that.

James: No, of course not. It's in the air.

Def: So that was the story. This is like the second time he has tried to escape.

James: Wow, that's awesome! A drone. Somebody sent a drone with a knife?

Def: With wire cutters.

James: So he cut the fence?

Def: Yeah. Everyone here was like pumped up when they read that.

James: The problem, the problem, like it will never happen at Gun Club. tell you that.

Def: God, settle down.

James: Yeah. Actually, you're on the second floor, so...


James: Yeah. Only time you'll see a fence is in the rec yard.

Def: That's insane.

The state characterized Dippolito as a flight risk and argued that in-house arrest provides little protection because she can "orchestrate the ultimate crime using a telephone to manipulate others to carry out her schemes.

"I have not heard the actual CD but I've read the transcript. Assuming the transcript is reliable and trustworthy, the allegation from prosecutors of Dalia plotting an escape are fiction. Not one time does she make a comment to this guy James about any specific plan to put in place to have her escape from the jail. She brought this up randomly, as an article that she read in the newspaper," Dippolito attorney Brian Claypool said.

Claypool went on to say that prosecutors took the conversation out of context. He says she never expressed intent and her responses to it were using the words "that's crazy," and "insane."

Claypool says when James mentions Gun Club, her response was "settle down."

"Her comment saying settle down to me, signals, 'wait a minute, I'm not saying I'm going to do this,' " Claypool said.

Due to a scheduling conflict, Dippolito's attorney canceled her motion for a bond hearing on Wednesday, August, 9th. He plans to reschedule it in the future and is confident he will be able to appeal the case.

Since this story was posted, Attorney Brian Claypool listened to a recording of the phone call and says the entire conversation about the newspaper article was 45 seconds long out of a 10 minute conversation. Claypool said in the conversation, Dippolito talks about her son, talks about church, and tells 'James' that she plans to read a book with other inmates that night. 

WPTV is working to obtain the entire recording of the phone call.