Tuesday, February 5, 2013
The civil case against a Naperville man who allegedly ran down a young woman from Joliet and then fled, leaving her to die, has a settlement agreement on the table.
The family of a 20-year-old Joliet woman left for dead on the side of McDonough Street has offered to settle a wrongful death lawsuit for $250,000. The settlement deal calls for attorneys representing the estate of University of Illinois student Melissa Lech to get $84,325.09 of the settlement. Half of the remaining $165,674.91 will go to Lech's mother, Maria Lech. Melissa Lech's two sisters, Monica and Michelle Lech, would split $82,837.45, according to court papers. Melissa Lech, a Plainfield South High School graduate, was run down on McDonough Street in August 2008. On the night of her death, she drank on the way up to a White Sox game, continued drinking at the game and on the way back to Joliet, and then headed to the Jefferson …
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 …
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, …
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, 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 …
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
If you've got wit, add your caption to Patch's weekly comic challenge and win a personalized print.
Are you blessed with insight and good humor? Or just bored today? Share your wit with your southwest suburban neighbors by entering Patch's comic caption challenge. Just add your dialogue for today's comic in the comment section of this post. Our only requirement is that you keep it clean! At week's end, we'll pick the winning punchline based on how many of us here at Patch giggle and smile at your contribution. The user who produces the winning punchline will get a personalized proof of the comic, with the winning words and a credit line, from cartoonist Chuck Ingwersen and Patch. Congratulations to Plainfield Rocks, who provided the winning punchline to last week's Bad Coffee cartoon: This coffee tastes like tar.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
A Mokena police detective now says he can't recall whether he photographed the hands of a New Lenox man charged with punching a Joliet man into a coma.
The trial of a New Lenox man charged with punching a Joliet man into a coma during a bar fight ground to a halt when a Mokena Detective said he had shot a photo of the defendant's hand that no one can seem to find. Will County Judge Sarah Jones gave the Mokena police 11 days to come up with the missing picture. The police couldn't find it, and attorneys for the New Lenox man, 23-year-old Joseph Messina, moved for a mistrial. Then on Thursday, the same detective said he now can't remember whether he shot the photo after all. "No, I do not recall," Detective Greg Selin said during a hearing in Will County court. Defense attorney Ken Zelazo asked Selin if he talked about the Messina matter with prosecutors. Selin told him he did, but just …
Monday, July 16, 2012
A bouncer was hospitalized and two men were arrested following a fight at the bar Liquid Therapy.
A wild fight at the Channahon Road bar Liquid Therapy put the bouncer in the hospital. The bouncer was taken to Provena St. Joseph Medical Center following the early Sunday morning brawl at the 3501 Channahon Road tavern. Two Joliet men were arrested in connection with the fight. Jaime Galvan, 29, of 706 Woodlawn Ave. and Marcellos Hayes, 23, of 514 N. Chicago St. were jailed on a charge each of aggravated battery. There were numerous fights in the bar Saturday night into Sunday morning, Joliet Police Chief Mike Trafton said. At one point, Trafton said, a bouncer escorted Galvan out of the tavern. Once they got outside, Trafton said, the bouncer was jumped and beaten. But the bouncer wasn't the only one severely beaten that night. When the…