Thursday, May 16, 2013
Defense attorneys want the judge who found a New Lenox man guilty of punching another man into a coma outside a Mokena bar to step down.
Hours after a Will County Judge found a New Lenox man guilty of punching another man into a coma, she received an email from the state's attorney's office. Attached to the email was a statement from Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow about the case. The judge, Sarah Jones, said she never opened the attachment, but the lawyers for the New Lenox man awaiting sentencing for the fateful punch want her off the case anyway. "It's about the appearance to everyone in the county—it's about the appearance to the citizen's of Illinois," defense attorney Dave Carlson said as he argued Judge Jones should recuse herself from the case of Joseph Messina during a Thursday afternoon hearing at the Will County Courthouse. Messina, 24, was found …
Thursday, March 28, 2013
An email from the state's attorney's office to the judge in the New Lenox coma puncher case is enough to get the convicted man a new trial, according to court papers filed by defense lawyers.
On the day a New Lenox man was to be sentenced for punching another man into a coma outside a Mokena bar, the judge announced she received an email from the prosecutor's office. Even though Will County Judge Sarah Jones didn't read the email, lawyers for convicted coma-puncher Joseph Messina say that just the fact she got it means she should start a whole new trial and leave it to another judge to decide the case. Messina, 24, was found guilty in January of punching 29-year-old Eric Bartels of Joliet outside the Mokena bar 191 South in July 2009. The attack left Bartels in a coma. Messina was set to be sentenced March 6 but his attorneys, Dave Carlson and Ken Zelazo, instead argued for a new trial based on a lack of evidence, among other …
Saturday, March 9, 2013
A Plainfield murder trial ended with a guilty verdict on the week's last day—and much, much more, in this edition of Court Supervision.
A week-long murder trial wrapped up with a guilty verdict Friday afternoon. The jury took two days to convict Ricardo Gutierrez, 23, of first-degree murder. Gutierrez gunned down Javier Barrios in October 2007 in Plainfield. Barrios was 18 when he was killed. Jury selection started Monday in the Will County Courthouse. Gutierrez's attorneys, Jeff Tomczak and Paul Napolski, said the killing was carried out in self-defense. That was just one of the things going on in court last week. There was also: Find all these stories and more on our Facebook page
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
The judge will decide next month if Joseph Messina, who was convicted of throwing the punch that put Eric Bartels of Joliet into a coma, will be tried again.
Lawyers for the New Lenox man convicted in January of punching a Joliet man into a coma outside a Mokena bar argued Wednesday that he should either be acquitted or get a new trial. Attorney Dave Carlson said there wasn't enough evidence for Joseph Messina, 24, to be found guilty of beating Eric Bartels outside the Mokena bar 191 South in July 2009. The attack left Bartels, 29, in a coma. Carlson pointed out that three key prosecution witnesses swore Messina was wearing shorts the night of the attack when he was actually wearing long pants. Carlson also claimed it was one of Messina's friends, Michael Glielmi, formerly of Manhattan, who punched Bartels, but that he was denied the opportunity to question Glielmi. Glielmi invoked his …
Thursday, January 3, 2013
The family of Joseph Messina was distraught after a Will County judge found him guilty of punching a Joliet man into a coma more than three years ago.
Three and a half years after he was punched into a coma outside a Mokena bar, Eric Bartels sat propped in a wheelchair in a crowded Joliet courtroom. After the judge found the New Lenox man charged with striking him guilty, Bartels blinked his eyes once. "There are times when he knows what's going on," Bartels' mother, Janet Bartels of Tinley Park, said after Judge Sarah Jones delivered her verdict against Joseph Messina, 24, Thursday morning. Janet Bartels wasn't sure if that was one of those moments, but said she saw Messina going down from the start. "I knew this would be the outcome all along," she said. All along began back in July 2009 at the Mokena bar 191 South. Messina and five friends went to 191 South to celebrate his 21st …
New Lenox resident Joseph Messina faces as much as five years in prison for punching a Joliet man into a coma in July 2009.
Judge Sarah Jones found New Lenox resident Joseph Messina guilty of punching a Joliet man into a coma outside a Mokena bar in July 2009. Messina, 24, faces up to five years in prison for the attack on 29-year-old Eric Bartels. Check back for more details of the verdict and the reactions of the families.
Saturday, November 3, 2012
Also, a judge won't reconsider Dawn Hamill's sentence for her conviction connected to a 2011 raid of her Dazzle's Painted Pastures Animal Rescue and Sanctuary. Prosecutors also dropped other charges related to the raid.
James West, 26, pleaded guilty to one count of felony possession of child pornography and was sentenced to six years in prison, a Cook County State's Attorney's Office spokesman said. West's girlfriend Lauren Papiez of Oak Lawn was also charged but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was sentenced to probation in August. Police say the pair sent sexually explicit photos and text messages to the high school student. They were arrested in September 2011 and charged with one count each of indecent solicitation of a child. West was taken into custody at the Oak Lawn Community High School’s fall carnival, where he was operating rides for Spectacular Midway Amusement. Patch rounds up the Southland's major criminal and civil cases being heard …
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
The trial of a New Lenox man charged with punching a Joliet man into a coma outside a Mokena bar will resume next month.
The bench trial of a New Lenox man charged with punching a Joliet man into a coma outside a Mokena bar took a back seat to two of the most notorious and highly publicized murder cases in Will County's history. But the trials of wife-murderer Drew Peterson and quadruple-killer Christopher Vaughn are over now, and the case of Joseph Messina is back on. Messina, 24, allegedly knocked 29-year-old Eric Bartels of Joliet to the ground with a single punch outside the Mokena bar 191 South in July 2009. Bartels has been in a coma since. After Bartels fell, a witness testified previously, Messina straddled him, punched his face again, then "raised his arms above his head in victory." The police arrived quickly and found Messina hiding between the …
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
A judge ruled has missing photos are a moot point in the trial of Joseph Messina of New Lenox, charged with punching a Joliet resident into a coma outside of a Mokena bar in 2009.
A defense motion for mistrial with prejudice was denied Monday in the aggravated battery case of 24-year-old Joseph Messina, of New Lenox. A Will County judge also denied an opportunity for a motion for a mistrial that would impeach the prosecution. Messina is accused of punching a Joliet man to the ground in a bar fight and knocking his head against the pavement. Since then, Eric Bartels, 29, has remained unable to speak or see. Will County Judge Sarah Jones said after having reviewed the testimony and case law provided, it became "very obvious" that both the state and the defense were unaware of photos pertaining to Messina's hands until June when police investigators indicated that they were part of the stream of evidence. …
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Judge says she'll take a week to decide on a motion for mistrial with prejudice. Joseph Messina, of New Lenox, is accused of punching Joliet resident Eric Bartels into a coma.
The aggravated battery case of New Lenox resident Joseph Messina, 24, who was accused three years ago on his 21st birthday of punching a Joliet man into a coma during a bar fight in Mokena, got a bit theatrical Monday at Will County Circuit Court in Joliet. Will County Circuit Judge Sarah Jones said she would review the case and return Aug. 13 with a decision in regard to the motion for mistrial with prejudice. For nearly an hour, the judge listened intently to both the prosecution and the defense team. The focus was on a defense motion for a "mistrial with prejudice," meaning the case is not eligible to be retried. Previously there had been problems confirming the legitimacy of the photos recorded during the initial interview with …