SALEM — A Lynn lawyer was arrested yesterday after allegedly stealing the entire case file for a pending murder trial from Salem Superior Court on Wednesday morning and shredding it.
Ilya Ablavsky, 32, called the accused killer's lawyer and claimed that he had done some legal research and "found that if the state does not have the original indictment, they cannot try the case," court papers say.
Ablavsky allegedly went on to say that he had "shredded the documents."
Ablavksy claims to be a cousin of the alleged killer, Jose Cabrera, 20, of Lynn, who is charged in a gang-related shooting in Lynn two years ago. His case is scheduled to go to trial in January. Ablavsky does not represent Cabrera in the case.
The case file contained at least 51 documents, including the original indictments, lists of evidence, motions and judges' orders, and rulings on those pretrial motions, according to an electronic copy of the docket.
Prosecutors from Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett's office will meet with the defense attorney in the case and the court clerk to decide how to go about re-creating the file, said Steve O'Connell, a spokesman for Blodgett.
During a brief appearance yesterday in Salem District Court, Ablavsky repeatedly tried to address the judge, telling him that he wanted to represent himself.
But a lawyer who was appointed temporarily to represent Ablavsky raised concerns about his mental status, saying Ablavsky apparently suffers from bipolar disorder and was making "some statements that are totally off the wall."
At one point, Ablavsky told the judge he wanted "food and water in exchange for my cooperation."
That led Judge Robert Brennan to delay Ablavsky's arraignment, a formal reading of the charges and a bail hearing until Monday, when Ablavsky will first be evaluated by a court psychologist.