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Mass. attorney admits stealing court file

January 29, 2012
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SALEM, Mass.—A Massachusetts attorney has admitted he stole a murder suspect's court file, but says he does not know why he did it.

Ilya Ablavsky pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge with tampering with a court record. His 18-month sentence was suspended and he must serve two years on probation. He is also expected to lose his law license.

The Salem News reports ( http://bit.ly/znuvbz) prosecutors say Ablavsky asked a court clerk in November 2010 for the file of a murder suspect, then took it. Authorities say he knew the suspect, but was not representing him.

The suspect's attorney says Ablavsky then called him to say the file's contents had been shredded, in the mistaken belief the prosecution could not proceed without the original paperwork.

Ablavsky apologized in court, saying he wasn't thinking clearly.

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