Clintons' Chappaqua Neighbor Charged With Murdering Wife

A neighbor of former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton was arrested Thursday and charged with murdering his wife, who he claimed had been shot by a stranger on a dark suburban road.

Carlos Perez-Olivo, a disbarred lawyer who was wounded in the Nov. 18, 2006, shooting, faces one count of second-degree murder and two counts of illegal weapon possession. If convicted, Perez-Olivo, 59, would face up to life in prison.

Peggy Perez-Olivo, 55, was shot in the head as she and her husband were driving from Manhattan toward their home just three doors from the Clintons in Chappaqua. The teacher's assistant at a Chappaqua school died two days later.

Prosecutor Perry Perrone, who argued against bail for Carlos Perez-Olivo, called the killing "a cold-blooded, well-planned execution" and said there was a "compelling circumstantial case, a compelling forensic case" against him.

"All investigative roads led to one person and one person only," Perrone said.

Perez-Olivo's lawyer, Robert Buckley, said his client "maintains his innocence, as he has all along."

Westchester County Judge Jeffrey Cohen sent Perez-Olivo to jail pending a Friday court appearance.

Carlos Perez-Olivo, 59, was shot in the abdomen when his wife was fatally wounded. He said the shots were fired by a man who cut off their sport utility vehicle on a dark road, then climbed into the vehicle and shot both of them.

The road they were on, Route 100 in Millwood, would not normally be part of the route home, but Perez-Olivo told police they had detoured to find a gas station. He said that despite his own wound, he was able to drive to Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco after the shooting.

Perez-Olivo was questioned for hours at his home and at police stations in ensuing days. Police released a sketch based on his description of the gunman, but one investigator described his account as "unusual sounding."

One night, as Perez-Olivo left county police headquarters, he shoved a reporter who asked him whether he had killed his wife.

The killing had no apparent effect on security at the home of the former president and the Democratic presidential hopeful. Upon hearing of their neighbor's death, the Clintons said they were saddened.

Last month, the Hartford Life Insurance Co. filed a federal lawsuit asking that a judge decide who should get the proceeds of two life insurance policies, totaling $467,000, on Peggy Perez-Olivo. The policies named Carlos Perez-Olivo as beneficiary and he had submitted a claim.

Perez-Olivo was disbarred last year for refusing to return unearned funds to clients.