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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 15, 2015) — A mother and son accused of traveling to Indiana to murder a local attorney now face federal charges in the case.

Renee Perillo, 51, and Richie Perillo, 21, had been facing charges in Hamilton County that included conspiracy to commit murder.

Thursday, the Hamilton County prosecutor handed the case over to the U.S. attorney and both suspects were transferred into federal custody. They appeared in a federal courtroom together, seeming at ease and at times laughing and joking with their attorneys.

The FBI took over the case, saying in court documents that evidence showed Renee Perillo had done extensive searches of the Noblesville attorney’s home on her phone.

That attorney, Rebecca Eimerman, is involved in a bitter divorce case involving Renee Perillo’s boyfriend, a doctor formerly of Columbus, Ind. who now lives in Florida.

Eimerman’s husband found both Perillo’s in the back of his wife’s car in May, where he held them and called 911. Deputies found a gun, knife and syringe full of succinylcholine with the pair, as well as a jacket containing Eimerman’s identification cards.

Succinylcholine is a drug used to paralyze a patient during surgery and, according to a doctor consulted by detectives, “such a dose would most likely cause complete paralysis and loss of ability to breathe, resulting in death.”

Detectives also found bizarre items in a car belonging to the pair, including gloves, a shovel, saw, hammer, disguises and a tranquilizer gun.

Richie Perillo, who spoke to FOX59 in a jailhouse interview this summer, said the items had nothing to do with their visit to Indiana. He claimed that he was on drugs at the time and his mother just wanted to talk to Eimerman.

Eimerman, however, told FOX59 that the case involving Perillo’s boyfriend is incredibly contentious and has been going on for years. She said she feared for her life and believed that her husband stopped her from being murdered.

In federal court, the Perillos face conspiracy to commit kidnapping charges instead of murder, but the charges carry a harsher sentence that could result in life in prison. Both of them also face charges of interstate transportation of a firearm for the purpose of committing a felony, which carries up to 10 years in prison.

The pair were read their rights and charges by a judge Thursday and a hearing has been set for October 27, in which the U.S. Attorney’s Office will need to prove it has sufficient evidence in the case and the judge will decide whether to continue holding the suspects in jail pending trial. They remain in custody in Marion County for now.