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. …
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Rodney Julun, of Chicago, is charged with the June 2011 murder of New Lenox Township resident Dwight Jones.
Rodney Julun's request to suppress interrogation room evidence was denied Wednesday his trial, where he's charged with the murder of New Lenox Township resident Dwight Jones. Julun, of Chicago, was charged in June last year with the murder of a New Lenox Township resident. Dwight Jones was beaten to death inside his home with a lamp and then robbed over four days as his corpse decayed. Earlier this summer, Julun and assistant public defender Mike Renzi called the interrogation “psychologically coercive,” noting that “the defendant was so shaken and confused … he cried and frequently asked to go home.” Read more about the defense's claims that Julun was treated poorly during the interrogation. They asked Will County Judge Daniel Rozak to…
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 …
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
The aggravated battery case of Joseph Messina, of New Lenox, was postponed till July 30. He's charged with punching Joliet resident Eric Bartels into a coma outside of a Mokena bar in 2009.
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…
Sunday, July 1, 2012
A Will County judge postponed the trial of Joseph Messina, accused of severely beating a Joliet man, to give Mokena police time to track down evidence.
Joseph Messina, the man standing trial for allegedly pummeling Joliet resident Eric Bartels in 2009 so severely that Bartels is still in a coma, was on trial last week. But the trial will be on hold while Mokena police search for a photo they say they have but can't find. Messina is a former Lincoln-Way Central football player and was celebrating his 21st birthday at 191 South in Mokena the night of the incident. His attorney insists Messina didn't throw the punch. Read more about the trial here.
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Also, a Frankfort Township man gets 10 for trying to buy sex from minor, burglars get 4 and 6, and former restaurateur walks free after pleading guilty to arson.
The Southland's major criminal and civil cases heard in Cook County and Will County courts this week. ORLAND PARK — Rick Beuke, an attorney for Allan Kustok, said he has interviewed several experts but has “not formally retained anyone” who might be called to challenge the state’s forensic evidence at Anita “Jeanie” Kustok’s murder trial. Nearly two years have passed since Kustok carried his dead wife into the Palos Community Hospital ER and was arrested in her shooting death. Earlier this month, prosecutors announced that they were finished with their investigation. As of Monday they had only a new copy of a scratched DVD to give the defense, which they resolved to do by the next pretrial hearing on July 26. Of the two years worth of …
Thursday, June 21, 2012
A Will County judge denied probation and sentenced John White and David Reed, both of whom pleaded guilty earlier this year. With good behavior and credit for time served, they could serve a shorter amount of time.
“Let the Lord forgive him,” Robert Davis said of his godson on Thursday, in the halls of the Joliet courthouse. “We all make mistakes sometimes.” That mistake—robbing a New Lenox Township home while the owner's dead body decayed inside—cost John White a six-year sentence. Neither his alleged drug problem nor his family’s plea for mercy were enough to convince Will County Judge Daniel Rozak that a probation program for felons with substance abuse problems was appropriate. The same was true of David Reed. Both he and White admitted in February to having burglarized the home last summer. Police found Jones’ body on June 14, 2011, four days after he was dealt a deadly blow to the head with a lamp. He was buried almost one year ago to the day. …
Thursday, May 24, 2012
The arraignment for Tom G. Rohrbach, of New Lenox, was postponed after lawyers learned he might have mental health issues. Police say he threatened to shoot up area high schools and his neighborhood.
The mental health of a New Lenox man accused of making repeated violent threats against the Lincoln-Way High School District, himself and his neighbors by telephone will be the subject of his possible arraignment next week. Based on information relayed to prosecutors by the family of 46-year-old Tom G. Rohrbach, Judge Richard Schoenstedt postponed formal indictment one week to allow lawyers to make motions on whether the defendant is fit for trial. Assistant public defender Stephen Whitmore, who appeared caught off guard by the news, told the court he would need a few days to prepare. Another hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, May 29. Members of the man’s family who were present in court on Wednesday declined to comment on the condition …
Friday, May 18, 2012
David D. Reed, 23, and John H. White, 21, both of Chicago, appeared in Will County Court on Friday for their sentencing after pleading guilty to residential burglary charges in February. A final decision on their sentencing will be made June 5.
The men who robbed a New Lenox Township home while the resident's dead body decomposed in the bedroom were "lacking mercy and void of conscience," the cousin of the victim said during a tearful testimony Friday. David D. Reed, 23, and John H. White, 21, both of Chicago, appeared in Will County Court on Friday for their sentencing after pleading guilty to residential burglary charges in February. A final decision on their sentencing will be made June 5. The Will County Sheriff's Department investigated the Jones' murder after he was found dead in his home June 14, 2011. An investigation led police to Rodney Julun, who was charged with murder and awaits trial, as well as Reed and White. The men said Julun proceeded to call them, and the …
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Tom G. Rohrbach, 46, of New Lenox, was charged Wednesday. Police say a two-month span of threatening phone calls, including some against Lincoln-Way schools, led them to Rohrbach.
The state filed 11 charges Wednesday afternoon against a New Lenox man who police say made a series of threatening phone calls, including two against the Lincoln-Way High School District. Tom G. Rohrbach, 46, of the 700 block of Lisson Grove in New Lenox, was charged with two counts of falsely making a terrorist threat, a Class 1 felony, and nine counts of disorderly conduct, a Class 4 felony. After investigating six phone calls threatening violence, police executed a search warrant at Rohrbach's mother's home, where he lived. Two phone calls threatened violence against Lincoln-Way high schools, and the other four threatened harm to himself or his neighbors. Read more about the police investigation and arrest. Rohrbach appeared in …