WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CN) - A mistrial was declared in the trial of a Florida woman charged with trying to hire a hit man to kill her newlywed husband, a case that went viral after it was featured on the "Cops" television show.
Dalia Dippolito gave no visible response when Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Glenn Kelley declared a mistrial after the jury said it was hopelessly deadlocked after nine hours of deliberations over the past two days.
The case spawned a special episode of the TV show "Cops" and has made international headlines for the past six years, as public interest mounted over recordings of Dippolito allegedly discussing plans to kill her husband with an undercover officer posing as a hit man.
Dippolito was convicted of solicitation to commit murder in 2011, but an appellate court overturned the conviction, leading to a second trial that ended Wednesday.
The jury informed Judge Kelley of their deadlock Tuesday night, but he urged them to return "fresh" Wednesday morning to try once more to reach a consensus.
The stalemate remained unbroken today and Judge Kelley declared a mistrial by virtue of a hung jury shortly before noon.
An anonymous ballot of the jurors was taken at the urging of the defense counsel, and it turned out that the jury was split 3-3 on whether to convict Dippolito.
The Recordings: "I'm Like 5,000 Percent Sure."
Dippolito's alleged plans to snuff out her spouse were reported to local enforcement in the summer of 2009 by her reputed former lover Mohamed Shihadeh, who went on to serve as a key informant in the criminal case.
Dippolito became the subject of an undercover investigation, during which an officer from the Boynton Beach Police Department posed as a hit man and told her, in a secretly recorded conversation, that he could murder her husband and make it look like a burglary.
Prosecutors alleged the officer-posing-as-a-hit man warned Dippolito that after the plan to carry out the murder was in motion, she would not have a chance to change her mind.
But Dippolito allegedly responded: "I'm determined already. I'm positive, like 5,000 percent sure."
Recordings from the undercover investigation were published on YouTube by the Boynton Beach Police Department, and were widely viewed, with media coverage abounding.
Following her May 2011 conviction for solicitation to commit first-degree murder, the show "Cops" produced a special episode entitled "Smooth Criminal" about the case, featuring footage of Dippolito returning to her home on the day she purportedly expected her husband to be killed.
In 2014, Florida's Fourth District Court of Appeal tossed out Dippolito's conviction and 20-year prison sentence.
Dippolito's appellate counsel from Brownstone PA, of Winter Park, Florida, successfully argued before the Fourth District that the jury selection process in the first trial was tainted.
The Fourth District ruled that during group questioning, the jury pool for the original trial heard one prospective juror comment about seeing an allegation in local media that Dippolito had previously tried to poison her husband, a claim which had already been ruled prejudicial and inadmissible.
In overturning Dippolito's conviction, the Fourth District found that the trial court erred in denying the defendant's request to strike the jury pool once the prospective juror blurted out that comment.