Man Whose Punch Killed Soccer Ref Sentenced To 8-15 Years In Prison

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A Michigan man who punched and killed the rec league referee who was ejecting him was sentenced to 8-15 years in jail Thursday, after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter. A Lebanese national, Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad faces potential deportation after completing his sentence. The Dearborn auto mechanic punched referee John Bieniewicz in the head as Bieniewicz was giving him a red card. Bieniewicz died in the hospital two days later.


In a somewhat unusual courtroom scene, Bieniewicz’s widow Kris held up a red card to Saad while giving her victim impact statement. Meanwhile, in the wake of this attack and others against referees, Michigan lawmakers are seeking to pass a law that would make it the 20th state in the country to have tougher penalties for attacks on sports officials, which are supposedly on the rise.

[The Detroit News/AP]

Screenshot via NBC News