Prosecutor says photo of New Lenox man’s fist not found
By Jon Seidel Sun-Times Media July 9, 2012 1:40PM
Updated: July 10, 2012 10:55PM
The photo delaying the trial of a man accused of throwing a near-fatal punch outside a Mokena bar three years ago hasn’t turned up after a “thorough” search, a prosecutor told a Will County judge Monday.
Assistant State’s Attorney Chris Koch told Judge Sarah Jones there’s no record that a photograph of Joseph Messina’s right hand was ever taken, as a Mokena cop testified last month. Koch said he’s ready to get on with Messina’s trial, which has been on hold for more than a week.
But Jones instead scheduled a July 19 hearing to let Messina’s defense attorneys argue for a mistrial.
Messina, 23, of New Lenox is on trial for aggravated battery. Prosecutors said he threw the punches that paralyzed Eric Bartels outside 191 South in Mokena on July, 25, 2009. Bartels’ family said he can’t see, speak or eat.
Mokena Det. Greg Selin testified during the trial he took a picture of Messina’s right hand after Messina was arrested for throwing the punches. Prosecutors and defense lawyers reacted to that testimony with surprise, and the judge halted the trial.