Huffpost Politics

Clintons' New York Neighbor Gets Five Years For Murder

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — A man who lived a few doors down from Bill and Hillary Clinton was sentenced Tuesday to 25 years to life in prison for shooting and killing his wife.

Carlos Perez-Olivo, 60, listened impassively as Westchester County Judge Barbara Zambelli imposed the maximum sentence and said, "You are a master of deceit who contrived a diabolical plan to murder your wife for your own financial gain."

Perez-Olivo, a disbarred lawyer, was convicted two months ago of second-degree murder and weapon possession in the death of his 55-year-old wife, Peggy.

She was shot in the back of the head in November 2006 as they drove home to Chappaqua, the New York City suburb where the couple lived on the same cul-de-sac as the Clintons. Perez-Olivo also was wounded, but prosecutors said the gunshot wound he suffered was minor and self-inflicted.

Perez-Olivo declined the opportunity to speak before sentencing, saying "I have nothing to add."

His lawyer, Christopher McClure, had asked the judge for the minimum sentence, 15 years to life, after asserting that the jury came to the wrong decision about a case built entirely on circumstantial evidence. Outside court, he promised an appeal.

Prosecutors said Perez-Olivo killed his wife to get her life insurance, worth nearly $900,000.

Perez-Olivo, who had been disbarred for misconduct in his representation of criminal clients, blamed the attack on a carjacker, possibly a hit man hired by an angry client.

In court, McClure read a letter from Perez-Olivo's three grown children, requesting the minimum sentence. "We have no mother, now we have no father," the letter said. "We trusted in the legal system and it has failed us."

McClure said he had forwarded to the judge several letters from the dead wife's relatives, also in support of Perez-Olivo.

But prosecutor Perry Perrone argued for the maximum sentence, calling the crime "a well-conceived, well-thought-out, well-planned and well-executed premeditated murder."

A witness testified that several months before the killing, he saw Perez-Olivo handling a gun just like the vintage Walther PPK that investigators fished from a lake near the crime scene. That gun was established as the murder weapon.

The killing had no apparent effect on security at the Clinton home. A spokesman said at the time that the Clintons were "saddened to hear of the death of their neighbor."

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