The trial of a New Lenox man charged with punching a Joliet man into a coma during a bar fight in July 2009 in Mokena was postponed until July 30.
Joseph Messina, 23, a former football player for Lincoln-Way Central High School, was charged with aggravated battery for the alleged attack. He is accused of punching Eric Bartels, 29, and knocking him to the pavement where he struck his head.
On Monday at Will County Court, defense attorney David Carlson asked for time to investigate exactly how copies of photos reportedly shot by the Mokena police were processed. "We need to discuss how the photos were transferred to a DVD," he said.
Will County Judge Sarah Jones ruled to reschedule the case.
Previously there had been problems confirming the legitimacy of the photos. In April, Mokena Police Detective Greg Selin testified in court saying he had shot a photo of the defendant's hand that no one could seem to find. He later testified that he couldn't confirm whether or not he had a photo that precisely showed Messina's hands in the fight.
In court action pertaining to the case last spring, Ken Zelazo, co-defense attorney, said the tape seemed to be missing at least 30 seconds total from two separate sections. At the time, Zelazo asked prosecutors to provide the originals—either original prints or digital images—of what photos they do have.
Previously Carlson said in court that Messina didn't throw the punch that broke Bartels' skull and damaged his brain.
However, witness Jason Siegert, of Chicago Heights, had testified that he had a "front row seat" to the fight, and he identified Messina as the one who knocked Bartels to the ground.