Doctor free, must leave LA by July 1

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Courts > Mourachov gets strict monitoring during transition

By Tris DeRoma

A Los Alamos resident recently found guilty of harassment, battery and animal cruelty was released from the Los Alamos County Detention Center through a plea agreement Thursday. Pavel Mourachov, a former medical doctor who once had a thriving urology practice in Los Alamos, was sentenced for time served and put on a year and a half of tightly supervised probation.

When Mourachov was released from the jail Wednesday, he was ordered by Magistrate Court Judge Pat Casados to wear a GPS monitoring bracelet and go straight to his house to pack his things.

According to prosecutor Kent Wahlquist, the neighbors that Mourachov threatened and Mourachov’s estranged wife were reluctant to agree to a plea deal, but once it was understood that Mourachov will be monitored by a GPS device and that he must leave Los Alamos County by July 1, they accepted terms of the plea agreement.

“The spirit of this agreement is, he wants to leave, everyone else wants him to leave, they are all on board with this,” Wahlquist said.

In May of this year, Mourachov was arrested on two counts of aggravated assault against a household member with a deadly weapon, harassment and extreme cruelty to animals.

The aggravated assault charges came from an earlier, September incident that his estranged wife related to police when they were interviewing her about the harassment and animal cruelty charges.

In the September incident, Mourachov threatened her with an axe and then a gun during an argument.

The more recent harassment and animal cruelty charges were related; apparently Mourachov shot his own 18-year-old cat with a bow and arrow and put it on his neighbor’s doorstep.

Though he was eventually released on a $10,000 surety bond for all those charges, he recently found himself back in jail for violating his agreement with the magistrate court to be tracked by GPS until his sentencing Thursday.

In his plea agreement, the harassment charge was dismissed as well as one of the aggravated assault charges.

The remaining fourth degree felonies, aggravated assault against a household member with a deadly weapon and extreme cruelty to animals were reduced to misdemeanors; assault (attempted battery) and cruelty to animals.

For the cruelty to animals charge, Mourachov was sentenced to a year in county jail with a year suspended and a year of supervised probation. For the assault charge, Mourachov received a six-month jail sentence with six months suspended. He must also serve six months of probation, to run concurrent with the year of supervised probation he received for the cruelty to animals charge.

According to Wahlquist, Mourachov needs to be out of his Los Alamos house by July 1. One of the conditions of his release is that he will be confined there until he leaves, while friends and his mother help him pack and run errands for him.

He will have three hours a day (1 to 4 p.m.) to run errands outside his home provided he notifies his probation officer where he is going and when he will be back. Eventually, he told the court, he might go live in Boston, Mass.

His immediate plans however are to go live with his mother, temporarily staying in Nambe after July 1.

Once he leaves New Mexico, for good, he will no longer be monitored by GPS, and must notify his probation officer and leave the state within four hours after the monitoring device is removed. Whatever probation he has left will become unsupervised, where he will no longer be tracked by GPS.

“If we find you at your neighbors, that will be a violation,” Casados said.

However, after July 1, he will still be commuting to Los Alamos to attend to wrapping up his Los Alamos practice and other business.

“He will not be allowed into Los Alamos County, accept to deal with matters relating to Ms. (Linda) Pena (his probation officer) or his office,” said Wahlquist.

“Either way, he would have to let Ms. Pena know each time,” he said to the court.

The rest of the time, Mourachov will have to stay out of Los Alamos County and have a strict 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. curfew monitored by GPS while living in Nambe or wherever he ends up living, Wahlquist added.

Possession of illegal drugs and/or alcohol will result in Mourachov’s rearrest, according to Casados.

During the proceedings, Mourachov’s attorney, Elden Pennington, asked Casados to grant Mourachov a deferred sentence for all the charges, meaning if Mourachov does everything asked of him while on probation, the charges will be dismissed. There will still be a record of the charges, but having the charges dismissed may help Mourachov get his medical license reinstated someday.

“He put decades of his life into school, training and doing some really hard work so he could practice medicine,” Pennington told the judge, adding that his specialized training makes him an “asset to the community, an asset to the state and an asset to the country.”

Mourachov himself pleaded with the judge, telling her that all he ever wanted to do is practice medicine in the United States, telling her he came here at the age of 19 with only $60 in his pocket. He also told her that the events that transpired over the past year had a lot to do with some mental health issues that he’s now being treated for.

“I’ve made some mistakes, but I’m set on getting a more in-depth evaluation and treatment for my condition,” he told Casados, adding that eventually he’s going to enter a treatment and monitoring program for physicians when he settles in Boston.

“I would like to reenter my profession again, and (deferment) would make easier for me to get my license back and work in hospitals again.

Casados granted the deferment, but only on the grounds that his soon-to-be ex-wife also asked the judge in a written statement for the same.