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Closing Arguments Delayed on Mistrial Motion in Coma Beating Case

The case against New Lenox resident Joseph Messina is continued till Aug. 6. He's charged with beating a Joliet man into a coma outside of a Mokena bar in 2009.

The aggravated battery case of Joseph Messina, of New Lenox, continues to linger on in Will County Circuit Court. Today the defense's motion for mistrial was continued until Aug. 6.

Chuck Pelkie, Will County State's Attorney spokesman, said Will County Judge Sarah Jones approved the continuance. 

Messina, 23, was charged with punching Joliet resident Eric Bartels into a coma outside of a Mokena bar in 2009.

The former football player for  was charged with aggravated battery for the alleged attack. He is accused of punching Bartels, 29, and knocking him to the pavement where he struck his head. 

On July 23 Messina's 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.

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.

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LuvtheSun7@aol.com August 01, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Knowing the family from the City, they probably paid off someone to destroy the picture. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree......Joe Messina, Sr. had anger issues too.
Cary Wilson August 07, 2012 at 02:06 PM
So, how much do you think it cost to have pic destroyed? a grand or 2 ? I always wonder what somebody's integrity is worth.

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