Plea Deal Coming In Fatal Punch Of Referee

DETROIT (AP) – A lawyer for a soccer player charged in the one-punch killing of a referee during a game says his client has agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors in which he would serve 8-15 years in prison.

Attorney Cyril Hall told The Associated Press he expects Bassel Saad to plead either guilty or no contest to involuntary manslaughter during a hearing Friday in Detroit. A message was left Friday with the prosecutor.

Saad’s trial had been scheduled to begin Monday. The 36-year-old auto mechanic is charged with second-degree murder.

Authorities say Saad struck John Bieniewicz once in the head during a match in Livonia last summer. The 44-year-old Bieniewicz died two days later.

Bieniewicz’s wife, Kris, said earlier this week she hoped Saad “never sees the light of day.”

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