WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. &
For more than a year, a disbarred lawyer and neighbor of Bill and Hillary Clinton has insisted that his wife was killed by an assailant who forced their car off a dark road, climbed in through the back and shot her in the head and him in the belly.
Carlos Perez-Olivo, 59, said he figured it was a paid killer, targeting him, perhaps hired by a dissatisfied client. He drew a sketch, gave the police some names and continued to live in his house in Chappaqua, three doors down from the Dutch Colonial the Clintons bought in 1999.
On Friday, Westchester District Attorney Janet DiFiore provided a less complicated explanation: "Mr. Perez-Olivo pulled the car over to the side of the road and shot his wife once in the back of the head."
Perez-Olivo, now charged with murder, was ordered held on $1 million bail Friday after his arrest a day before. DiFiore would not comment on motive. Perez-Olivo has tried to collect on his wife's $517,000 life insurance policy, but the insurance companies held back because he was under suspicion.
At the bail hearing, Perez-Olivo's 18-year-old daughter was in the gallery to hear prosecutor Christine O'Connor say the evidence "refutes strongly his version of this story." DiFiore said the murder weapon was a .32 caliber pistol found in a lake near the scene of the shootings in Millwood, but she would not say how it had been linked to Perez-Olivo.
Perez-Olivo's attorney, Robert Buckley, said authorities had the wrong man. "There most certainly is a killer out there still," he said outside court. "Anyone who knew this couple knows this is impossible. Peggy was the center of Carlos' life."
Buckley said Perez-Olivo had given the names of a couple of "suspicious" people to police, but prosecutors insisted all leads were followed up.
The defendant looked woebegone in County Court, his hands cuffed behind him, his tieless white shirt buttoned to the top, his feet bare in loafers.
"He's depressed, he's worried about his children," Buckley said. "He's not doing well at all."
Buckley said the husband, though innocent, "does feel responsible" for his wife's death. She was 55.
"He has terrible guilt on that," Buckley said. "He feels this happened because of his law practice, because some client, somewhere, was striking back at him. He feels he was unable to defend his wife."
Buckley said he would try to quash the indictment because his client did not get to address the grand jury. As for bail, he said he would "talk to the family." Besides 18-year-old Alycia, a high school senior, Perez-Olivo has two grown sons, Merced and Carlos, who have been supporting him, Buckley said.
Asked why the investigation of the Nov. 18, 2006, shooting took so long, DiFiore said, "We worked carefully and meticulously." Chief Robert Breen of the New Castle police force, which covers Millwood and Chappaqua, said, "We finished the puzzle and it ended in indictment."
Prosecutors said Perez-Olivo had no known identifiable source of income, and the judge granted a request for a hearing on the source of any bail money that was put up.
A court conference was scheduled for Jan. 4.
Neighbor of Bill and Hillary Clinton charged with murdering his wife
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. &