Valerie Cincinelli paid her one-time boyfriend, John DiRubba, $7,000 to hire a hitman to kill estranged husband, Isaiah Carvalho, amid a bitter divorce and custody battle over their son.
DiRubba went to the authorities when Cincinelli wanted to include DiRubba's 15-year-old daughter in the plot.
"I deleted images on an iPhone with the Intent to obstruct a federal grand jury investigation into the murder for hire," Cincinelli said during the plea hearing. "I knew what I did was wrong, and I'm truly sorry, Your Honor."
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Had the case gone to trial, federal prosecutors said they would have introduced evidence that included audio and video recordings in which Cincinelli was overheard discussing the plot and an alibi.
During the virtual hearing Cincinelli, who has been in custody since her 2019 arrest, broke down, wailing, "For two years I haven't seen my son."
The defense hopes to get her released on bail while she awaits sentencing. Her plea agreement called for a sentence of about five years in prison.
Federal prosecutors agreed not to ask for more than 60 months behind bars when she is sentenced on October 29.
Cincinelli, 36, resigned from the NYPD after a 12-year career. She had been assigned to the "Video Interactive Patrol Enhanced Response," or VIPER unit, whose members monitor security cameras at city housing projects. The unit is largely made up of officers on modified duty due to other infractions, and authorities say Cincinelli had prior domestic incidents involving the boyfriend and ex-husband that led to her being assigned there.
Before that, she was assigned to the 106th Precinct in Queens.
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Judge Joanna Seybert took the plea in Central Islip during a virtual hearing.
The judge who had been presiding over the case, Sandra Feuerstein, was killed in a hit and run in Boca Raton last Friday.
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