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Long IslandCrime

Defense for NYPD cop accused of murder-for-hire plot argues she should be released on bail

NYPD Officer Valerie Cincinelli in a Mineola courthouse

NYPD Officer Valerie Cincinelli in a Mineola courthouse on June 12. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

A lawyer for an NYPD police officer charged with a murder-for-hire plot said the government has selectively excerpted or misinterpreted her text messages and internet searches to block her from getting released on bail.

“[T]hese text messages do not support pre-trial detention, and, in fact, plainly rebut many of the government’s contentions,” James Kousouros, the attorney for Valerie Cincinelli, said in court papers responding to prosecution arguments.

Cincinelli, 35, of Oceanside, was arrested in May on charges that she plotted to kill both her estranged husband and the daughter of her boyfriend, who has not been charged and is cooperating. She is being held without bail and prosecutors say she is a danger to the community.

The boyfriend, who was in a volatile relationship with Cincinelli, went to federal officials with details of the plot, after initially telling her he would find a hitman to carry it out, officials have said.

In opposing Cincinelli’s release on bail, government prosecutors have argued in court papers that her cellphone records show that she was angry over her boyfriend's purchase of luxury goods for his teenage daughter and furious that her husband could get a share of her police pension in a divorce settlement.

Prosecutors presented text messages showing Cincinelli complained to the boyfriend that he was buying his daughter Louis Vuitton handbags, Sephora makeup, and her “fake nails" every week. Cincinelli’s internet searches, they said, involved the disposition of pensions in a divorce, and the Amy Fisher-Joey Buttafuocco assault case.

In that case, which was a tabloid sensation in the early 1990s, Fisher, then 17, was convicted of assault after she shot Buttafuocco's wife at the couple's Massapequa home.

Kousouros’ papers did not address the searches on the Fisher-Butafuocco case.

But as to her pension queries, Kousouros said in papers: “While Ms. Cincinelli may not have been thrilled that…she had to forfeit part of her pension,” she and her husband had worked out a settlement. Kousouros added:  ”Many individuals involved in divorce proceedings ask the same questions” he said.

Kousouros argued the cellphone records show that Cincinelli was angry with her boyfriend because he owed her $15,000, but instead spent money on the daughter. “Ms. Cincinelli is simply confronting [the boyfriend] with what appears to be pricey expenditures for his daughter with money she believed he had taken from her,” Kousoruos wrote.

Kousouros said: “These texts show nothing more than a woman venting her frustration at [the boyfriend’s] repeated lying regarding her money and where it was spent."

In addition, Kousouros said that the government is mistaken when prosecutors said Cincinelli gave the boyfriend $7,000 to hire a hitman to murder the daughter and the estranged husband. The $7,000 was actually for the boyfriend to invest in gold coins,  Kousouros wrote.

He notes that after Cincinelli lent him the money, she asks her boyfriend where the money is, and the boyfriend replies in a text, “I’m making all the moves to make more money don’t you understand.”

Kousouros could not be reached for comment.

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