“Wall of Anger” finally fixed in courthouse

It only took 15 months, but the county finally patched the cracked, dented plaster staircase wall in the Westchester County Courthouse that was damaged in October 2008 by the angry son of convicted murderer Carlos Perez-Olivo.

Merced Perez-Hall, who had been his father’s most ardent supporter, punched the wall several times, screaming expletives the entire time, after learning his father was convicted of fatally shooting Peggy Hall Perez-Olivo — Merced’s mother and Carlos’ wife. I remember standing less than 10 feet away, watching him wail on that wall, afraid to move lest he take out his anger on me. The fist-sized hole remained there until this past Friday, when it was plastered over.

Another footnote from the case … Carlos Perez-Olivo has been diagnosed with cancer. That bit of news came out during an interview he gave for “On the Case with Paula Zahn,” a true crime show on the cable TV channel Investigation Discovery. He said the diagnosis didn’t bother him because he was “half-dead anyway.” He still insists he is innocent of his wife’s death and that she was killed and he was wounded in an ambush.

The case continues to get national attention — including a Dateline NBC special last year — because the Perez-Olivos had lived on the same street in Chappaqua as Bill and Hillary Clinton.

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.