Domestic abuse case against Boston Bruins veteran Milan Lucic dropped after wife declines to testify

Prosecutors dropped their domestic assault case against Milan Lucic, a veteran forward for the Boston Bruins, after revealing that his wife declined to testify, and a judge ruled that her 911 call was inadmissible.

Assistant District Attorney Samuel Jones had argued Friday morning to use the 911 call in the trial, which was scheduled to begin later in the day.

“She is crying, she’s distressed. She says that she ran from her apartment because of this incident,” Jones said.

Jones also said, “Later on, she says that she’s not going to go back to the apartment because her husband put his hands around her neck and she’s scared of that.”

Defense attorney Gary Pelletier suggested the call failed to definitively identify Lucic as the suspect. During questioning, the 911 dispatcher who took the call confirmed that she never asked the caller for her last name or to identify her husband by name.

Additionally, Pelletier suggested that Lucic’s wife sounded intoxicated on the call and that she could have fabricated the story. He also had the professional athlete show the court the size of his hands, saying that if Lucic did choke his wife, it would’ve been more obvious to first responders.

The attorneys also debated the admissibility of the call without the ability to question the caller in court.

Ultimately, the judge sided with the defense and decided to block the evidence.

Jones immediately responded by filing a nolle prosequi, a notice that the prosecution will cease to pursue the case.

“This situation is something prosecutors encounter quite often in matters involving domestic violence charges. We handled this case exactly as we would any other presenting a similar set of circumstances,” said James Borghesani, spokesperson for the District Attorney’s Office.

Lucic, who hasn’t played in a Bruins game since Oct. 21, is on a leave of absence from the team. He offered no comment as he left court on Friday.

In a written statement, the team said Lucic will remain on indefinite leave from the organization for the remainder of the 2023-24 season.

“The Boston Bruins organization supports Milan and his family as he continues his personal rehabilitation,” the team wrote.

After his arrest, Lucic entered the NHL’s Player Assistance Program, which helps players going through mental health and substance abuse issues.

A 2011 Stanley Cup winner with the Bruins, Lucic returned during the offseason, signing a one-year $1 million deal with $500,000 more possible in performance-based incentives.

Pelletier said Lucic wants to return to the NHL and that they are confident the decision Friday will make it possible for him in the future. He also said Lucic plans to meet with the NHL commissioner.

“He’s very happy, obviously, that this part is over. He wants to get on with his life,” Pelletier said. “He wants to get on with his NHL playing career, hopefully with the Bruins, and back as fast as he possibly can.

Bruins left wing Milan Lucic before an MLS first round playoff match between the New England Revolution and the Philadelphia Union on November 8, 2023, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.

He made his debut for the Bruins in 2007 and spent eight seasons in Boston before making his return in the off-season.

The 6 feet, 3 inches tall, 236-pound Lucic was placed on the Bruins long-term injured in October.

Lucic played in four games, getting two assists before suffering what the team described as a lower-body injury after getting hit with a shot off an ankle in a game against Los Angeles on Oct. 21.

Gideon Canice

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