The assault conviction of former Chicago police officer Michael Mette was overturned by the Iowa Court of Appeals Wednesday.
From the Chicago Tribune's report:
Mette was a four-year veteran of the police department when he was found guilty in 2007 of assault causing serious injury in connection with a fight two years earlier in Dubuque. Jacob Gothard, a member of the Dubuque College golf team, was left with brain hemorrhages and aa [sic] broken nose, cheekbone and jaw. Mette has served 11 months of a 5-year sentence.
In essence, the appeals court accepted Mette's argument that he was acting in self defense and had no opportunity to avoid the fight. It said the lower court had erred in finding that Mette had an opportunity to retreat.
Mayor Daley, Police Supt. Jody Weis and Cook County State's Attorney Dick Devine all wrote letters to Iowa Gov. Chet Culver on Mette's behalf.
Mette explained some of his frustration in an extensive email interview with the Windy Citizen:
I am in prison right now because of the corruption inside a Dubuque courthouse. Just read the Judge's ruling and then Iowa's code 704.3. How can anyone, let alone a Judge, tell someone, "I understand that you were attacked by this person, but you had no right to defend yourself." This case has never made much sense to me. Why have laws set in place if we are not wiling to abide by them? And if we cannot trust those who govern to uphold these laws then should we not put someone else in office?
Mette also mentioned his plans for after his release:
What I do when I get out depends on the circumstances of my release. If justice is done and the Appellate Court reverses the guilty verdict, then I'll go back to my career with the police department.
Watch a report on Mette's case from CNN's AC360:
The Michael Mette Defense Fund is a site started by Mette's friends and family.