Mattioli awaits jury trial as state seeks out key witness

NOW: Mattioli awaits jury trial as state seeks out key witness

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Former Milwaukee police officer Michael Mattioli is currently awaiting his jury trial, but a key witness is nowhere to be found.

Mattioli allegedly put Joel Acevedo in a chokehold in May of 2020 and he died a couple days later. 

He's pleaded not guilty. 

The jury trial is supposed to start next month, but the state can't get ahold of former Chief Medical Examiner Brian Peterson, who abruptly retired last month.

Our legal expert, Attorney Julius Kim, says while the state is likely trying everything it can to get Peterson for the trial, there are some ways around the issue.

"It's possible that they might try to admit evidence without his physical presence there, or that someone else can verify the authenticity of a report he may have drafted, for instance," said Kim. "But if they don't find him, I think there's potential rules of evidence where the state can still get around his physical presence not being in court."

The judge approved the state's request for an adjournment of the trial, which means right now it is essentially postponed. 

A status conference has been rescheduled for next week Friday.

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