New lawyer in hand-chopping case

Accused hand chopper Christopher Calise got a new attorney today — Christopher McClure, best known as the lawyer for convicted wife killer (and ex-neighbor of Bill and Hillary Clinton) Carlos Perez-Olivo, now serving 25 to life for murder.

Calise, 44, of Yonkers  is charged with first-degree assault for allegedly trying to chop off the hand of a New Rochelle man who owed him (or his employer) $50,000. He is being held on $200,000 bail.

The Legal Aid Society of Westchester, which took Calise’s case, asked to be relieved as counsel, citing an unspecified conflict of interest. McClure stepped in as assigned counsel … over the objections of Calise, who wanted Legal Aid to stay on until he hired a private attorney.

Westchester County Judge Jeffrey A. Cohen told Calise that it wasn’t a good idea not to have a lawyer in his situation, even for a few days, so McClure was brought in, perhaps only on a short term basis.

Calise’s alleged accomplice, Michael Mann of Fort Lee, N.J. is also facing assault charges in the attack. You can read the grizzly details by clicking here.

Rebecca Baker

Rebecca Baker joined The Journal News in March 2004. She covers Eastchester, Bronxville and Tuckahoe, and was previously the state and county courts reporter in Westchester County. In prior jobs, she covered the Town of Greenburgh and Rockland County government and politics. Before coming to The Journal News, she was a municipal reporter for newspapers in New Haven, Conn. and Warren, Ohio.