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Court upholds probation revocation for longtime Willmar offender

David Pillatzki Jr.

WILLMAR — The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld a District Court decision that revoked the probation for a longtime offender in Kandiyohi County and sent him to prison.

The Court of Appeals ruling released Monday means that David Lawrence Pillatzki Jr., 43, will serve the remaining time on a 60 month-sentence after pleading guilty in 2013 to charges including being a felon in possession of a firearm, fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, driving after cancellation and fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance.

Pillatzki appealed the revocation of his probation by arguing that the record does not support the Kandiyohi County District Court's decision that the need for confinement outweighs the policies favoring probation.

In his appeal, Pillatzki stated he wanted to participate in a drug treatment program offered outside of the state's penal system.

In revoking his probation, the District Court made note of the defendant's extensive criminal history dating to when he was 13 years old, as well as repeated relapses into criminal activity and drugs. "Every time you go in, you come back out and you engage in more criminal activity,'' stated the court when revoking his probation. "And eventually it comes time where we ... can't just look at another treatment opportunity because if it fails you endanger others. Every time. And I can't let that ... keep going on.''

In its ruling, the Court of Appeals stated the District Court's decision "was based on sound judgment. The district court did not abuse its discretion in revoking Pillatzki's probation."

Pillatzki is currently serving his sentence at the Lino Lakes Correctional Facility with an expected release date of March 1, 2021, according to the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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