A woman's appeal of her federal guilty plea in a murder-for-hire case targeting a Noblesville attorney was dismissed by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in a case the panel said resembled “the plot of a mediocre novel.”
Renee S. Perillo pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping and commissioning a murder for hire and was sentenced to 27 years in prison in November 2017 and was ordered to pay restitution of more than $74,000.
Federal authorities accused Perillo and her son, Richard, of targeting attorney Rebecca Eimerman in May 2015. Court documents said the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call from Eimerman’s home, where her husband had found the pair in the back of their SUV.
“The underlying facts here sound like the plot of a mediocre novel, focused on Perillo’s relationship with her boyfriend, Dr. Arnaldo Trabucco, and her attempts to harm Trabucco’s ex-wife and the ex-wife’s divorce attorney,” meaning Eimerman, Judge David Hamilton wrote for the panel in USA v. Renee Perillo, 17-3436.
“The Perillos had with them a loaded handgun, binoculars, a plastic bag, latex gloves, a knife, a rubber tourniquet, and a syringe that Perillo claimed contained heroin, but in fact contained a potentially lethal dose of succinylcholine, a paralytic,” Hamilton continued. “The police arrested Perillo and her son. They obtained a warrant to search Perillo’s car, where they found: ammunition, duct tape, a long blonde wig, two machetes, a tranquilizer gun and darts, alcohol pads, syringes, a ‘commando’ saw, a hammer, a shovel with dirt on it, three license plates, a walking cane, a priest disguise, and a full-headed silicone mask depicting an elderly man’s face.”
Nevertheless, Trabucco bonded Perillo out of jail in Noblesville, and she fled west. She was arrested about a month later in Montana, and when she was returned to Indiana, Hamilton wrote, “she was placed in a cell with Lisa Starr Ramos. According to the government, Perillo told Ramos about her crimes and that she still wanted to kill (Eimerman)… .” Ramos then contacted the FBI, and the bureau set up an agent to portray a hit man named “Don-Don”. Perillo contacted “Don-Don” multiple times attempting to arrange a murder-for-hire, the government alleged.
After Perillo pleaded guilty, she moved to withdraw the plea. Indiana Southern District Judge Richard Young denied the motion, and the 7th Circuit dismissed Perillo's appeal Monday, finding her plea agreement contained valid appellate waivers. The panel noted the plea agreement dismissed federal firearm charges in exchange for a guideline sentence. Judges also rejected arguments on appeal that Perillo's first attorney had pressured and coerced her into pleading guilty, that she had been entrapped, and others.
“Perillo cannot plausibly argue that she lacked a predisposition to commission a murder for hire. By the time she was incarcerated with Ramos, Perillo had already tried to kill Eimerman once,” Hamilton wrote. “And when Perillo contacted the undercover agent who she believed was a hitman, she did so enthusiastically. Within 11 days of Ramos’s suggestion, Perillo called the agent on the phone and wrote a letter providing Eimerman’s home address and a vague description of her workplace, describing her physical appearance and her car, and outlining her morning exercise routine.”