NYC mom living in ‘hell’ fighting prosecutors over fake gun charges
A Queens mom has been locked in a two-year legal battle over a cache of guns found in her home — even though most of the weapons are fake.
Elizaveta Zilatkis was arrested in December 2019 for felony possession 22 guns. However, many firearms were just props that her husband provided to musicians for their music videos. She recently explained this to The Post.
The Queens District Attorney’s Office eventually dropped the felony counts but Zlatkis remains charged with several misdemeanors — and prosecutors are refusing to let the case go.
“This has been hell for two years for me and my children,” the 33-year-old mom said this week. “They publicly humiliated me, and now they refuse to admit that they were wrong.”
“They are trying to save face and extend this case past three years so I can’t sue them,” she claimed. “They want me to take a plea [deal], but I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Joe Murray, Zlatkis’ lawyer, said prosecutors even misplaced the case file when he showed up in court Monday seeking to have the case dismissed.
“This is not prosecution,” railed Joe Murray, Zlatkis’ lawyer. “It is a persecution of a single mother with no record who wasn’t even mentioned in the search warrant.”
Court records show that Zlatkis, who was initially arrested and charged for first-degree criminal possessing a weapon in December 2019, was the victim of an armed robbery.
According to records, her children, which included a toddler at that time, were living in the house.
Zlatkis was also charged with first- and second-degree criminal possess of a weapon.
She was also accused of four counts for possessing an imitation gun and three charges of possessing ammunition for a revolver or pistol, as well as other charges.
A maximum sentence of 25 years is possible for the most serious felony.
However, 21 of the weapons recovered by investigators are not real weapons — they consist of toys, replicas, air rifles and starter pistols — like those used at track meets, according to law enforcement sources.
Only one of the pistols is real — and that one is inoperable because it’s missing the trigger, hand grip and internal workings, the sources said.
Queens Prosecutors filed a new complaint on Dec. 18, 2020. This was almost one year since her arrest. However, Zlatkis still faced the two Endangering Charges, which are the ammunition charge as well as the 11 counts for the imitation pistol charge.
The new charges all amount to misdemeanors.
Then, this past July — one month after Murray file a motion to dismiss the case — prosecutors filed a third complaint containing the same misdemeanor charges but tweaking some language.
Queens prosecutors repeatedly refused to comment on Zlatkis’ case this week.
A spokesman for the state Office of Court Administration said Zlatkis’ file was located on Wednesday and that the case would be back in court on Dec. 15.
Zlatkis pledged to fight to get her name cleared.
“I’m willing to go to trial,” she said. “But the last thing that they want is the embarrassment when I beat them in court. My 11-year-old son knew the guns weren’t real.”