Hearing Set For Man Charged With Killing Referee

By  | 

LIVONIA, Mich. -- A Detroit-area soccer player accused of killing a referee with a punch to his neck is scheduled to appear in court.

Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad is charged with second-degree murder. The 36-year-old auto mechanic from Dearborn is to be arraigned Thursday in Livonia District Court.

John Bieniewicz died last week from injuries sustained June 29 when he was hit while working as a referee at a men's soccer game in Livonia. Police and prosecutors say Saad struck Bieniewicz as the 44-year-old referee formally announced his decision to eject him.

Saad initially was charged with assault, but prosecutors amended the charge after Bieniewicz died.

Defense lawyer Brian Berry has said his client is not guilty of assaulting Bieniewicz, whose funeral service is to be held on Thursday.