Bail was set at $750,000 for the Duluth man accused of fatally stabbing his wife at their Chester Park home.
Ryan Richard Jazdzewski, 40, was arraigned Wednesday, June 4, on a charge of intentional second-degree murder in Sunday's slaying of 41-year-old Nicole Ann Jazdzewski, a registered nurse and mother of three young children.
The defendant kept his head down for most of the hearing, only speaking to answer a handful of procedural questions from 6th Judicial District Judge Theresa Neo. His parents and other family members watched from the courtroom gallery.
St. Louis County prosecutor Kristen Swanson asked for the high cash bail, citing public safety concerns in wake of what she called an "unprovoked instance of anger, which led to the death of his wife and the mother of his children." While Jazdzewski has no violent criminal history, Swanson said investigators have learned of allegations of previous physical abuse within the household.
The prosecutor said the defendant also engaged in self-harm. He was hospitalized from Sunday night until Tuesday morning, with police saying he had sustained injuries to a finger and forearm.
Duluth attorney Kevin Cornwell, who represented Jazdzewski at the arraignment, called the bail amount "excessive," citing the defendant's lack of serious criminal history and his ties to the local community.
Ryan Jazdzewski grew up in Proctor and earned degrees from Lake Superior College and the University of Wisconsin-Superior, Cornwell said. He had worked at UnitedHealthcare since 2009.
"His family is here," Cornwell told the court. "His kids are here. Everything he has is here. He's not going to run. He's not a risk to the general public."
Neo cited the "very, very serious" allegations in siding with the prosecution's requested bail conditions — also ordering the defendant not to have any contact with his three children.
The judge also denied Jazdzewski's request for a public defender, determining that his reported assets were too great to qualify.
His next court appearance was scheduled for July 1.
Nicole "Nikki" Jazdzewski graduated from Bemidji High School in 1995 and later earned degrees from Lake Superior College and the College of St. Scholastica, according to her obituary. She began her professional career at Essentia Health and worked throughout the United States for two years as a traveling nurse, according to the obit. She had worked at St. Luke's since 2009, starting in the cardiac unit and later transferring to the intensive care unit.
"Nikki will be missed by many," an obituary reads. "She always tried to put people first and always managed to get the perfect gift for birthdays, anniversaries and events. Her education and career in nursing was perfect for her. Her first love, though, was her children. She always went out of her way to listen and love them and go all out when celebrating with them. When watching Nikki with children, you could see the look of love, pride and satisfaction that she had for them. She left us too early."