N.Y.P.D. Officer Accused in Plot to Kill Husband Will Plead Guilty

Two years ago, a woman asked her boyfriend to hire a hit man to kill her estranged husband, with the crime made to look like a robbery and the bounty to be paid in gold coins, the authorities said.

On top of that, the woman suggested that the killer also run over the boyfriend’s teenage daughter with a car, according to court filings.

Perhaps as unlikely as the plot itself was the person charged with hatching it: a New York City police officer and mother of two whose 12 years on the job included a stint in a domestic violence unit.

On Friday, prosecutors and a lawyer for the officer, Valerie Cincinelli, said at a court hearing that they had reached an agreement under which she would plead guilty in the scheme, though they did not specify what crime she would admit to.

In addition to federal murder-for-hire charges, she faces two counts of obstruction of justice. She had previously entered a plea of not guilty.

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Contacted after the hearing, James Kousouros, a lawyer for Officer Cincinelli, said the agreement was awaiting her signature. He declined to comment on the details of the plea deal, except to say that he believed it represented a “favorable” outcome for his client.

A spokesman for the United States Attorney’s office in Brooklyn confirmed that Officer Cincinelli, 36, had agreed to enter a guilty plea and was expected to do so at an appearance scheduled for next Friday. He declined further comment.

A lawyer for Officer Cincinelli’s former husband, Isaiah Carvalho Jr., did not respond to a request for comment.

Officer Cincinelli was suspended without pay after her arrest, and that continued to be her status with the department as of Friday, a police spokeswoman said.

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Details of the alleged plot targeting Mr. Carvalho and the teenage daughter of Officer Cincinelli’s boyfriend came to light in the spring of 2019.

At the time, court documents showed, Mr. Carvalho and Officer Cincinelli were in the middle of a messy divorce after four years of marriage and involved a legal skirmish over custody of the couple’s son and how to divide their property.

Starting in February 2019, according to a criminal complaint, Officer Cincinelli began asking her boyfriend to hire a hit man to kill Mr. Carvalho, and her boyfriend’s own daughter.

On Feb. 18, 2019, she withdrew $7,000 from a branch of a Long Island bank, according to the complaint. The same day, the complaint said, her boyfriend bought gold coins worth $6,935 in a nearby town. The gold was to go to the killer, the complaint said.  

The couple had discussed the plot repeatedly in conversations that the boyfriend recorded, according to court documents. Officer Cincinelli also used social media to track her boyfriend’s daughter’s movements, the documents said. (The boyfriend, John DiRubba, was not identified by name in the complaint.)

On May 13, 2019, the complaint said, Officer Cincinelli met with Mr. DiRubba to discuss the killings she had ordered. She was still unaware that he was cooperating with federal investigators and was recording his conversations with her.

Their discussion that day, court records show, included her explanation for why she thought the two planned killings would not appear to be connected: They would take place on different days, and the attack at Mr. Carvalho’s workplace would not arouse suspicion “because the murder would take place in ‘the hood’ or ‘the ghetto.’”

Four days later, on May 17, the authorities went to great lengths to convince Officer Cincinelli that the plot had succeeded, court records show.

Shortly after 10 a.m. that day, a Suffolk County, N.Y., detective contacted her at her home in Oceanside and told her that the police were investigating Mr. Carvalho’s death. Less than an hour later, F.B.I. agents sent her a text message, purportedly from the killer, along with a photograph of the supposed murder scene.

Immediately afterward, Officer Cincinelli contacted Mr. DiRubba, to tell him to delete their text exchanges from his phone and to coordinate their alibis, court filings show. F.B.I. agents took her into custody later that day and she has been detained since.

Mr. Kousouros, her lawyer, has sought since the start of the case to raise doubts about Mr. DiRubba’s credibility, describing him in one court filing as “an inveterate liar” who “on more than one occasion” had “framed and falsely accused” Officer Cincinelli of crimes.

In a court filing, Mr. Kousouros acknowledged that “portions of the recordings are troubling.” But he said in the same filing that “other portions make it palpably clear” that his client did not believe Mr. DiRubba would act on “his plan to commit these murders and that she most certainly did not pay him to do so.”

Contacted on Friday, Mr. DiRubba said he was relieved that Officer Cincinelli had agreed to a plea in the case.

“Nobody’s a winner here,” he said. “Everyone suffered.”

N.Y.P.D. Officer Accused in Plot to Kill Husband Will Plead Guilty N.Y.P.D. Officer Accused in Plot to Kill Husband Will Plead Guilty Reviewed by Your Destination on February 08, 2021 Rating: 5

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