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Pavelich granted modified bail, release conditions to seek next phase of treatment

Sixth Judicial District Judge Michael Cuzzo ruled in favor of the modification Tuesday.

Mark Pavelich
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A judge amended the pretrial conditions of release for Mark Pavelich, the former U.S. Olympic and University of Minnesota Duluth hockey star, on Tuesday.

Sixth Judicial District Judge Michael Cuzzo ruled to allow Pavelich to work with the Cook County probation office to determine the conditions of pretrial release upon paying $20,000 in bail.

"I want Mr. Pavelich to have a financial stake," Cuzzo said. "The goal here is to get you into an appropriate treatment facility to allow you to be released from St. Peter to move forward with a less restrictive method of treatment, which was certainly envisioned by this court in the commitment cases."

Defense attorney Chris Stocke argued on Tuesday in favor of less-restrictive release conditions that would allow Pavelich to be transferred to a different facility to continue his treatment rather after completing his time at the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter, where he was committed in December.

"Mr Pavelich is doing very, very well at St. Peter. (He's) following his treatment team, following his caseworkers' recommendations, hasn't had any violations at St. Peter," Stocke said. "He's at a point where he's doing well enough that they believe that that's appropriate."


Pavelich, 62, was arrested in August 2019 after allegedly striking his Lutsen neighbor, James T. Miller, with a metal pole. The victim's injuries included two cracked ribs, a bruised kidney and a fractured vertebra. According to a criminal complaint, Pavelich had accused his neighbor of "spiking his beer" after returning home from a fishing trip together.

Pavelich is charged in State District Court in Grand Marais with four felonies: second- and third-degree assault, possession of a short-barreled shotgun and possession of a firearm with a missing or altered serial number. Authorities located the firearm during a search of Pavelich's home at the time of his arrest.

Before the St. Peter hospital can move Pavelich, Stocke said he must legally be referred for pretrial release or be able to pay his bail, which was set at $500,000. Otherwise, Pavelich would be booked in the Cook County Jail, where Stocke said "the progress he's made would be adversely affected and impacted."

According to court documents, Pavelich has been diagnosed with a "neurocognitive disorder that affects his ability to reason and recognize reality." At least one psychologist opined that the condition may be related to a series of head injuries sustained during his long playing career.

After Pavelich's arrest, it was later reported that he had experienced delusions that friends and family members were attempting to poison him. There have been a series of incidents since 2015 in which Pavelich has allegedly damaged property belonging to family and friends.

Mental health experts have previously suggested that Pavelich was fit to stand trial.

An omnibus hearing is scheduled for Oct. 13.

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