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Sentencing set for man convicted of paralyzing punch

Joseph P. Mess/ phofrom Will County Sheriff's office

Joseph P. Messina / photo from Will County Sheriff's office

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Updated: August 4, 2013 6:13PM

A former New Lenox high school football star is set to be sentenced Tuesday for throwing a punch that left a Mokena man paralyzed.

Joseph Messina, 25, who played football for Lincoln-Way Central High School, was found guilty in January of three counts of aggravated battery for punching Eric Bartels outside a Mokena bar in 2009. The punch knocked Bartels to the ground, causing a head injury that left him paralyzed, mute and blind.

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