Soccer player pleads guilty in fatal punch of referee

A recreational soccer player has pleaded guilty in the one-punch killing of a referee in a deal with prosecutors.

Bassel Saad admitted in a Detroit courtroom Friday that he struck and killed 44-year-old John Bieniewicz during a game last summer.

Saad pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. He was initially charged with second-degree murder and had been scheduled to stand trial beginning Monday.

The 36-year-old auto mechanic from Dearborn will be sentenced March 13. Under the plea deal he could be sentenced from eight to 15 years in prison. 

FOX 2's Charlie Langton was in court and reports that because Saad is not a U.S. citizen, he is also facing deportation. 

His sentencing is scheduled for March 13, 2015. 

Bieniewicz's wife, Kris, said earlier this week she hoped Saad "never sees the light of day."

Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories