Man accused of punching and killing soccer referee bound over for murder trial

The Dearborn man accused of punching and killing soccer referee John Bieniewicz during a soccer game June 29 will be bound over for trial for second-degree murder.

The final testimony during a two-day preliminary exam came from the medical examiner.

Dr. Chantel Njiwaji said 44-year-old John Bieniewicz died of blunt neck trauma after 36-year-old Bassel Abdul-Amir Saad punched him June 29 during a soccer game at Mies Park in Livonia. She said the internal bruising on the left side of Bieniewicz's neck was so deep, that he likely never anticipated or braced for the impact.

“If he braced, maybe that would be different, but there’s no evidence of that," Dr. Njiwaji said.

Saad was originally charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm. The charge was amended to second-degree murder after Bieniewicz died two days later.

Saad's lawyer argued his client threw the fatal blow in a fit of emotion on the soccer field, and never imagined the victim would die.

Ali Hammoud asked Judge Kathleen McCann to bind his client over to trial on the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter.

“It’s the only fair thing to do, judge," Hammoud said. "Do not make us go downtown and argue to the judge downtown that you abused your discretion," he added.

But Judge McCann sided with prosecutors, ruling this was murder.

"He had to know. anyone should know, in this day and age, that it could cause death," she said.

After the hearing, Hammoud said, “The judge got it wrong. She had to do what she had to do today. We will take our case to circuit court."

The case will be bound over for trial in Wayne County Circuit Court August 7.




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