CHICAGO (STMW) – A northwest suburban man just weeks away from completing a short jail sentence for domestic violence-related charges was indicted Thursday for trying to arrange the murder of the woman he was accused of battering.
Mikhail “Mike” Gelzin, 53, of Buffalo Grove, is charged with solicitation of murder for hire, Cook County Sheriff’s police said.
On Thursday, he was formally charged and arraignment was set for March 2, Cook County State’s Attorney’s office spokesman Andy Conklin said. Gelzin is being held on $1 million bond.
Gelzin had been serving a 180-day sentence for repeatedly violating the terms of an order of protection filed against him after a 2009 domestic battery arrest in north suburban Wilmette. Since that incident, Wilmette police have arrested Gelzin for calling, e-mailing and driving past the home of his victim, according to the sheriff’s office.
Gelzin, who is serving that sentence in a minimum-security division of the Cook County Jail, was set to appear in court March 2 and could have seen his jail term end after that hearing, the release said.
But investigators with the sheriff’s Criminal Intelligence Unit learned he was actively seeking someone to kill the woman he had been arrested for battering and harassing, the release said.
CIU — an investigative unit based at the jail — arranged for an undercover officer to pose as a hitman and communicate with Gelzin. On Jan. 20, Gelzin agreed to provide the officer $15,000 in cash to murder the woman, a release from the sheriff’s office said. Later, Gelzin asked to negotiate the price down and finally agreed to pay $12,000.
Gelzin, born in Russia, told the officer he planned to flee the country and live overseas as soon as he left jail. He will now be moved to a maximum security area of the jail while awaiting trial, the release said.
Solicitation of murder for hire is a Class X felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.