Lawyer targeted in bizarre murder plot says ‘I felt helpless’

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NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (June 23, 2015) — The lawyer targeted in a bizarre murder plot that landed a mother and son behind bars spoke exclusively to CBS4’s Jill Glavan about the case.

That lawyer, whose representation in a bitter divorce case is believed to be the motive, asked that we not say her name or show her on camera. Sitting down with her husband, the two said they are still scared for their safety.

“I was angry. I was frustrated. I felt helpless,” the lawyer said.

Her fear started after Renee Perillo and her son Richie turned up in the back of her car on May 22. Her husband was the one who got into the car that morning and caught them.

“(I) noticed this pair of shoes in the back of her Suburban. … It registered in my head that, you know, there’s socks in these shoes, there’s feet in these shoes,” her husband said.

He managed to hold the pair in the car for 10 minutes until Sheriff’s deputies arrived. The lawyer even snapped a photo of Richie Perillo sitting in handcuffs in their front yard.

Just hours later, she realized that she’d heard the name Renee Perillo before. Perillo was dating a man on the other side of a divorce case that she’d been pursuing for seven years.

“We made calls to the prosecutor, to the detectives and we requested that they be held on a higher bond, that something be done,” the lawyer said.

Instead, both Perillo’s bonded out of jail and took off. In the coming days, detectives would figure out their plot, including a syringe full of a paralyzing drug used only in surgery. It’s believed to be the weapon they were going to use to kill her.

“I know that the only reason I’m here today is because my husband got in that car and not me,” the lawyer said.

Her husband said he now has a different outlook on life and his family’s safety in their rural home.

“The reality is you can’t let your guard down anymore. I don’t care who you are or where you live, you’ve got to stay alert,” he said.

The lawyer also warned her fellow attorneys, particularly in family law, to be careful of their safety in cases that can become bitter and emotional.

“I think it’s important that as lawyers, we make sure we’re taking care of ourselves, that we’re alert, that we acknowledge that there is some risk,” she said.

U.S. Marshals captured Richie Perillo in California more than a week ago and Renee Perillo in Montana on Monday.

The couple now hope the Hamilton County Prosecutor will push harder in the case and look into other people who may have helped the Perillo’s pull off their plan. Most importantly, they believed Perillo’s boyfriend, a doctor in Florida at the center of the divorce case, knows more than he’s letting on.

“I’m hoping that anybody and everybody who had any involvement in assisting the Perillo’s or anybody else who had any part in this is charged,” the lawyer said. “Knowing that the reason these people were here was my fault, because of my involvement in a case and that I had put my family at risk … is probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever gone through in my entire life.”

A representative with the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s office would not comment on any investigation into other people in the case.

Renee and Richie Perillo are expected to be extradited to Indiana to face conspiracy to commit murder charges.

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