Saturday, January 5, 2013
The New Year didn't start out all that great for everyone.
The New Year turned five days old today. And out of those five days, the Will County Courthouse was only open for three of them. That may not be a lot of days, but they were still action-packed and exciting. How action packed and exciting? Well, let's take a look: Are you a fan of true crime? Then come like our Facebook page.
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.
Monday, December 10, 2012
The trial of New Lenox man Joseph Messina concluded Monday afternoon.
Nearly six months after it started, the trial of a New Lenox man charged with punching a Joliet man into a coma drew to a close Monday afternoon. But the fate of Joseph Messina won't be known until Will County Judge Sarah Jones hands down her verdict Jan. 3. Messina, 24, waived his right to have a jury decide his guilt or innocence before the trial started in June. Messina allegedly punched 29-year-old Eric Bartels in the face outside the Mokena bar 191 South in July 2009. When Bartels fell, his head struck the the concrete and he suffered a fractured skull. A half-dozen witnesses, including two men working for a car service and a 191 South bouncer, testified to seeing Messina throw the fateful punch. But one of Messina's closest friends, …
Saturday, December 8, 2012
A surprise witness in the Mokena coma punch case turning the trial upside down was just one of the things going on in court this week.
The week finished up with a bang when a surprise witness dropped explosive testimony on the Mokena coma punch case. With Joseph Messina of New Lenox facing felony aggravated battery charges for allegedly beating Eric Bartels of Joliet into a coma in July 2009, witness Steve Raymond of Frankfort came out of nowhere and testified that he saw another man throw the fateful punch. Raymond explained that he kept quiet for years because he expected close friend Mike Glielmi to come clean about punching Bartels. That didn't happen, and Raymond, who is also close friends with Messina, told how he empathized with Bartels' family after his own sister suffered severe brain injuries in a July 2011 motorcycle accident. It was only a year or so after the…
Friday, December 7, 2012
The star witness in the Mokena coma punch trial can testify without fear of facing criminal charges.
The judge in the Mokena coma punch case cleared the way for Thursday's bombshell witness to keep testifying without fear of prosecution on perjury or obstructing justice charges. The witness, Steve Raymond of Frankfort, then returned to the witness stand to recall how he told the police "a lot of lies," including how he never saw who threw the fateful punch that put a Joliet man in a coma in July 2009. On Thursday and Friday Raymond changed his story and said it was his friend Mike Glielmi who punched 29-year-old Eric Bartels in the face outside the Mokena bar 191 South. Another of Raymond's friends, Joseph Messina, 24, of New Lenox, was charged with attacking Bartels and spent nearly two months in jail before bonding out. Yet Raymond kept…
Thursday, December 6, 2012
The lawyers for New Lenox man Joseph Messina are blaming one of his friends for punching a Joliet man into a coma, but his buddy's pleading the Fifth.
A bombshell witness took the stand in the case against New Lenox man Joseph Messina and accused one of their pals of throwing the fateful punch that put a Joliet man into a coma. Steve Raymond of Frankfort blamed mutual friend Michael Glielmi of punching Eric Bartels into a coma in July 2009. "This is what people don't know," Raymond said. "I saw Mike Glielmi punch Eric Bartels." For his part, the 24-year-old Glielmi showed up in court with Joliet attorney Steven Haney, who said his client would plead the Fifth Amendment if called to testify. "The advice is he's going to invoke his right to remain silent," Haney told Judge Sarah Jones. Haney told the judge that it was his "understanding" that Glielmi could be charged if he answers …
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
The trial of a New Lenox man charged with punching a Joliet man into a coma more than three years ago was back in court Wednesday.
The trial of a New Lenox man charged with punching another man into a coma started more than five months ago, and on Wednesday it was back on with testimony from three state police scientists. The scientists were questioned about blood evidence in the case against 24-year-old Joseph Messina, who allegedly beat a man into a coma outside the Mokena bar 191 South back in July 2009. Messina's trial began in June but the high-profile murder prosecutions of wife-killer Drew Peterson and Christopher Vaughn—the Oswego man who executed his wife and three children—forced the postponement of his case. Now, with both Peterson and Vaughn going down guilty, the Messina case is back on. Messina, who is free on a $250,000 bond, allegedly knocked 29-year-…
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
A law suit filed on behalf of Eric Bartels, 29, who suffered massive head trauma in a 2009 bar fight in Mokena, accuses Silver Cross and Provena St. Joseph's with negligence. The trial for Joseph Messina, 24, who is charged with aggravated battery in the
The aggravated battery case of New Lenox's Joseph Messina, 24, who is accused of putting a man in a coma after a bar fight in Mokena three years ago, resulted in a law suit filed Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court. While Messina's guilt or innocence is yet to be determined, the victim in the fight, Eric Bartels, 29, of Joliet, suffered massive head trauma. He continues to endure debilitating effects. The Chicago Tribune reported that Bartel's mother filed a law suit against Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, Provena St. Joseph's Medical Center in Joliet and doctors; the charge is negligence. The suit, according to the Chicago Tribune, accuses both hospitals of failing to fulfill their obligations as designated Level II trauma centers. …
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 …