INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A woman accused of plotting to kill an Indiana attorney learned her punishment Friday.
A federal judge sentenced Renee Perillo to 27 years in prison, calling the case "diabolical" and "almost something that you would read in a novel."
U.S. Attorneys said Perillo and her son, Richard Perillo, tried to kill Rebecca Eimerman, an attorney from Noblesville, in a bizarre murder plot. According to testimony, the pair waited in the back of Eimerman’s car in May 2015 with a gun and a syringe filled with a lethal dose of the drug succinylcholine, which is used in hospitals to paralyze patients. Eimerman’s husband found them, holding them until sheriff’s deputies could arrive.
Other items found in the car included gloves, a shovel, saw, hammer, disguises and a tranquilizer gun. Renee Perillo lived in Florida while her son lived in Nevada; both traveled to Indiana to carry out the plot, investigators said.
Both Perillo's bonded out of jail and went on the run shortly after their initial arrest. U.S. Marshals later picked them up out of state and charges were transferred from state to federal court.
Eimerman spoke to CBS4 in 2015, just as a grand jury moved to indict both Renee and Richard Perillo.
"I'm hopeful that justice will be served," Eimerman said then. "We have to take new safety precautions, it’s a new way of life, but we’re getting through it."
In court Friday, Eimerman delivered an emotional statement forgiving Perillo for the crime.
"I forgive you. That's your gift from me...and I'm moving on," Eimerman said.
Perillo was sentenced per the terms of a plea agreement she signed earlier this year. She later tried to back out of the deal, but a judge ruled it would move forward.
She was sentenced on two of four counts, for conspiracy to commit kidnapping and murder-for-hire. The murder-for-hire charge came after U.S. attorneys said Perillo wrote to a federal agent, who was posing as a hit man, from jail and asked him to murder Eimerman.
In court, Perillo turned to Eimerman, saying "I sincerely apologize." She also told the judge, "I'm not saying I'm entirely innocent, I should never have gone to her property," but later claimed "never was I going to kidnap her at all."
An assistant U.S. attorney questioned the sincerity of Perillo's apology, telling the judge "the defendant is not a victim here." Instead, he told of how Perillo's actions changed the victim's life, saying "she was just doing a job - a job she loved - and it literally nearly killed her."
Both an attorney for Perillo and the victim herself questioned whether Perillo was coerced into her actions. According to testimony, the case stemmed from a divorce battle between Perillo's ex-boyfriend and his ex-wife, who the victim represented in court.
Eimerman asked Perillo directly to give agents more information about the doctor. She also said she was sorry Perillo's son was caught up in the plot, saying "he deserved a mom."
Richard Perillo, who spoke to CBS4 in 2015 and denied the plot, has since pleaded guilty in the case. He awaits sentencing.