Trials & Litigation

Ex-Client on Trial over Alleged Hit on Matrimonial Lawyer; Paralegal Testifies

Unhappy about the result of a motion filed by his matrimonial lawyer in a child custody dispute, a New Jersey accountant allegedly took extreme action.

Nicholas Lucarella, now 57, is accused of hiring another state resident to kill his attorney, Peter Paras. But Paras survived an attack by Vancleve ‘Q’ Ashley of Passaic, who drove a sport utility vehicle into the attorney outside his Red Bank office on June 21, 2002. Prosecutors say the Ashley and another Passaic man he recruited, Ramaine ‘Rah Rah’ York, made an appointment to see Paras about a purported legal matter, then waited outside his office at the Galleria until Paras departed, reports the Asbury Park Press.

Lucarella’s lawyer, Brian Neary, has said his client, who now lives in New York, had nothing to do with the attack, the newspaper reports. Both Ashley and York have pleaded guilty in the case.

Testifying earlier today in state court in Freehold about the day of the June 2002 attack, retired paralegal Leslie Margolies said she became concerned after receiving a strange phone call from a purported would-be client and told Paras not to come to work on the day of the attack. She also told other staff to keep the doors of the law office locked.

“I was very concerned,” she testified.

Additional coverage:

Asbury Park Press: “Witness must testify in hit-man trial”

New York Times (2003): “Accountant Accused of Hiring Hit Men to Kill His Divorce Lawyer”

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