On June 30, 36-year-old Bassel Saad of Dearborn was charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm after seriously injuring John Bieniewicz, a 44-year-old soccer referee who attempted to eject Saad from a Livonia soccer match on June 29. Bieniewicz. The charges against Saad were elevated to second-degree murder after the victim succumbed to his injuries on July 1, according to news reports at Mlive.com.
On Thursday, Saad was arraigned on the charges just hours before the referee’s funeral. A not guilty plea was entered on Saad’s behalf by the judge, and a $1 million bond set. Wayne County District Judge Kathleen McCann called Bieniewicz’s death a “horrendous tragedy.” According to the autopsy, the victim suffered blunt force trauma to the neck, the cause of his death.
Police claim that the victim was punched when he tried to eject Saad from the adult-league soccer match by raising a red card. Bieniewicz, a resident of Westland, worked at Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor as a dialysis technician. A charitable fund was established online to help support the victim’s two sons; at the time of news reports, more than $140,000 had been raised.
What is described above is an unfortunate loss of life that appears to have been caused by anger. While it is unlikely Saad actually meant to kill the referee, he will face serious consequences if convicted of second-degree murder. In the state of Michigan, second-degree murder encompasses all types of murder not considered first-degree, or premeditated murder. Ultimately, the defendant’s fate will lie in the hands of the court. Jurors may determine that the defendant deserves to spend the rest of his life behind bars, or any number of years.
In a case such as this, a skilled Michigan criminal defense attorney is the defendant’s best ally. A lawyer can help the accused determine whether to plead not guilty, or whether it may be more advantageous to try to work a plea deal with prosecutors. The objective of your attorney is to ultimately reach the best possible outcome.