Chicago Cop Charged in Illegal Gambling Scheme ‘Tried to Kill Me,’ Girlfriend Says

Posted on: January 28, 2021, 03:14h. 

Last updated on: January 28, 2021, 03:37h.

A federal judge in Illinois this week ordered a suspended Chicago police officer to remain in jail after the cop’s girlfriend said he tried to kill her. Nicholas Stella, the police officer, was charged last year in an illegal sports gambling scheme and had been out on bond.

Nicholas Stella
Nicholas Stella leaves the Dirksen Federal Courthouse in Chicago after a hearing. The suspended police officer has been charged with an illegal betting scheme. (Image: Chicago Sun-Times)

US District Judge Virginia Kendall said Stella has shown a “pattern of three incidents of violence over a very short period of time” toward the unnamed female, according to the Chicago Tribune. 

You are a danger to the community. You are a danger to her,” the judge told Stella this week. He is required to remain behind bars until his trial comes up in the illegal gambling case.

Sella, 43, is on an unpaid leave of absence from the police department, the newspaper reported. He is being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago. 

Stella had been free on bond while awaiting a trial date in the gambling case. He was accused last year of recruiting people to place bets with an illegal gambling ring. The 19-year veteran of the police department was jailed last week after prosecutors played a 911 call from his girlfriend.

The judge heard the emergency call alleging Stella choked his girlfriend on Jan. 16 at the Crowne Plaza hotel near O’Hare International Airport.

My boyfriend is literally like trying to kill me,” a woman can be heard saying on the 911 call.

Asked to describe Stella, she says, “He’s a cop.”

Volatile Relationship

The incident at the hotel was not the first violent episode involving the suspect and his girlfriend, according to Assistant US Attorney Terry Kinney.

In a hearing regarding Stella’s bond, Kinney said the suspended officer threatened to kill the woman if she left him or went to the police.

After attacking her this month at the hotel, he “posted a number of private text messages online so people could see them,” Kinney said. The prosecutor added that Stella placed a sign at their residence that read, “‘Pack your (expletive) and get out.’”

“He kicked her out of the house,” Kinney said.

Steven Weinberg, an attorney representing Stella, said the couple’s five-year relationship has been volatile, according to the Chicago Tribune. She admitted to being drunk and on medication at the time of the alleged incident. The woman declined to press charges.

The judge said police photos showing that the woman had no marks or bruises “mean nothing if he tried to choke her.”

“Do you have to wait for her to have bruises on her neck and her larynx is collapsed before it’s confirmed there was an attack?” the judge asked.

Trump Pardons Mayor 

Stella and nine other defendants were charged in February 2020 with “conspiring to illegally conduct a multi-million dollar sports gambling business in the Chicago area,” according to a US Department of Justice news release.

The defendants are accused of being part of a scheme that used the internet in taking sports bets from more than 1,000 people, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. The defendants who recruited bettors got a percentage of their losses, authorities said.

Casey Urlacher, brother of former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, was among the 10 defendants. Casey Urlacher is the mayor of Mettawa, located 35 miles north of Chicago. Earlier this month, Urlacher was among several high-profile people Donald Trump pardoned before leaving office.