Soccer player gets 8 years in prison for killing referee - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Soccer player gets 8 years in prison for killing referee

By ED WHITE

Associated Press DETROIT (AP) - A widow held up a red card, signaling ejection, as a weekend soccer player was sentenced Friday to at least eight years in prison for a punch that killed a Detroit-area referee.

The case against Bassel Saad has put a spotlight on out-of-control recreational athletes and inspired Michigan lawmakers to consider new crimes for assaults on sports referees.

Saad, 37, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, admitting he punched referee John Bieniewicz during a game last summer at a Livonia park. Bieniewicz, 44, was preparing to call a penalty that would have ejected the Dearborn auto mechanic from the game.

He died two days later.

A red card signals ejection in soccer. Bieniewicz' wife pulled one from her pocket during her remarks in court, although Saad had his back to the gallery and didn't see it.

Kris Bieniewicz said the sentence and plea deal were generous.

"It's murder. It will always be murder in my eyes," she told the judge.

Saad will be eligible for parole after eight years. His maximum punishment is 15 years in prison.

He expressed remorse and said he prays for Bieniewicz' family, which includes two children.

The sentence ordered by Wayne County Judge Thomas Cameron followed the plea deal reached in February by prosecutors and Saad. The judge called Bieniewicz' death a "childish, senseless act" and said Saad symbolizes for many the stunning level of violence in community sports.

"Our hearts are broken," said mother Barbara Bieniewicz.

___

Follow Ed White at http://twitter.com/edwhiteap

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Trump: USS Ford is '100,000-ton message to the world'

    Trump: USS Ford is '100,000-ton message to the world'

    Saturday, July 22 2017 3:30 AM EDT2017-07-22 07:30:57 GMT
    Sunday, July 23 2017 2:35 AM EDT2017-07-23 06:35:47 GMT

    President Donald Trump will help commission the USS Gerald R. Ford, a $12.9 billion warship.

    President Donald Trump will help commission the USS Gerald R. Ford, a $12.9 billion warship.

  • Next Minneapolis police chief has deep community roots

    Next Minneapolis police chief has deep community roots

    Saturday, July 22 2017 1:49 AM EDT2017-07-22 05:49:17 GMT
    Sunday, July 23 2017 2:33 AM EDT2017-07-23 06:33:13 GMT

    Minneapolis police chief says she wants to let 'fresh set of leadership eyes' be in charge of department, resigns amid criticism over shooting of Australian woman who had called 911.

    Minneapolis police chief says she wants to let 'fresh set of leadership eyes' be in charge of department, resigns amid criticism over shooting of Australian woman who had called 911.

  • Police: Parents gave newborn drugs to cover up addiction

    Police: Parents gave newborn drugs to cover up addiction

    Sunday, July 23 2017 1:52 AM EDT2017-07-23 05:52:55 GMT
    Sunday, July 23 2017 1:52 AM EDT2017-07-23 05:52:55 GMT
    Colby Wilde, 29, and Lacey Christenson, 26, face four counts each of child endangerment and felony drug charges. (Source: Utah County Sherriff’s Office/KUTV/CNN)Colby Wilde, 29, and Lacey Christenson, 26, face four counts each of child endangerment and felony drug charges. (Source: Utah County Sherriff’s Office/KUTV/CNN)

    The baby’s mother used heroin and prescription pain medication during her pregnancy, and the baby was born addicted to drugs, police say.

    The baby’s mother used heroin and prescription pain medication during her pregnancy, and the baby was born addicted to drugs, police say.

Powered by Frankly