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DES MOINES, Iowa -- A Chicago police officer could be released within days after the Iowa attorney general's office announced Tuesday it would not seek a state Supreme Court review of his case.
Last week, the Iowa Court of Appeals found a district court judge had been mistaken in convicting Michael Mette. The appeals court said there wasn't enough evidence for the judge's ruling that Mette could have retreated from an altercation on Oct. 9, 2005, in Dubuque.
State prosecutors could have asked the Iowa Supreme Court to review the appeals court ruling to acquit Mette of assault causing serious injury.
"While the Attorney General's Office disagrees with the Court of Appeals analysis, it accepts the outcome," the statement said.
The office said Mette's release could move quickly, perhaps within a day or two. Before he can be released, the Supreme Court must issue an order closing the appeal and the Iowa Department of Corrections must complete paperwork.
When reached by telephone with the news on Tuesday evening, Mette's sister, Jennifer Pomatto, shouted with excitement.
"It's great news, now we can have him home," she said, adding that she wants to "just hug him."
She also wants him to see her new daughter, and joked, "then I want him to take his dog back."
Their father, Robert Mette, said a hug and some tears would be sure things.
"It's about time," he said of his son finally being released.
Michael Mette has spent about a year in a state prison in Rockwell City. No one disputes that Mette punched Jake Gothard and fractured his nose, cheek and jaw during the 2005 confrontation. But Mette's attorney maintained that the police officer only struck back after Gothard followed him from a party and pushed him three times.
Prominent Illinois officials, including Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, Cook County State's Attorney Richard Devine and Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis, had called for Michael Mette's release and praised the appeals court decision.
In its ruling, the appeals court found that prosecutors did not meet the burden of proof, and that there was no testimony to support the district court judge's findings.
On the Net:
Michael Mette Defense Fund: http://mikemettedefensefund.com/