Homicide

Arraignment held for Detroit-area soccer player charged with murder in referee's death

  • FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Livonia Police Department in Livonia, Mich., shows Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad, a Detroit-area soccer player who is accused of killing soccer referee John Bieniewicz with a punch to his neck. Saad, 36, of Dearborn, Mich.,was charged Wednesday, July 9, 2014, with second-degree murder, eight days after Bieniewicz died from his injuries. Saad has been free on bond. He will appear again in a Livonia court Thursday, July 10 on the second-degree murder charge. (AP Photo/Livonia Police Department, File)

    FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Livonia Police Department in Livonia, Mich., shows Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad, a Detroit-area soccer player who is accused of killing soccer referee John Bieniewicz with a punch to his neck. Saad, 36, of Dearborn, Mich.,was charged Wednesday, July 9, 2014, with second-degree murder, eight days after Bieniewicz died from his injuries. Saad has been free on bond. He will appear again in a Livonia court Thursday, July 10 on the second-degree murder charge. (AP Photo/Livonia Police Department, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE -This undated file photo released by Jim Bieniewicz shows his brother, soccer referee John Bieniewicz, 44, top left, with his family. Bieniewicz was attacked while officiating at an adult league game in the Detroit suburb of Livonia, Mich., on Sunday, June 29, 2014. Bieniewicz lost consciousness and died Tuesday, July 1, 2014, at a hospital. On Wednesday, July 9, 2014, soccer player Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad, 36, of Dearborn was charged with second-degree murder. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Jim Bieniewicz, File)

    FILE -This undated file photo released by Jim Bieniewicz shows his brother, soccer referee John Bieniewicz, 44, top left, with his family. Bieniewicz was attacked while officiating at an adult league game in the Detroit suburb of Livonia, Mich., on Sunday, June 29, 2014. Bieniewicz lost consciousness and died Tuesday, July 1, 2014, at a hospital. On Wednesday, July 9, 2014, soccer player Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad, 36, of Dearborn was charged with second-degree murder. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Jim Bieniewicz, File)  (The Associated Press)

A Detroit-area soccer player accused of killing a referee with a punch to the neck has made an initial court appearance on a second-degree murder charge.

Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad was arraigned Thursday in Livonia District Court. The judge ordered a $1 million bond and set a preliminary hearing for July 30.

John Bieniewicz (BEN'-uh-wits) died last week from injuries sustained June 29. Police and prosecutors say Saad struck Bieniewicz as the 44-year-old soccer referee announced his decision to eject him from a men's league game.

Saad, a 36-year-old auto mechanic from Dearborn, initially was charged with assault, but prosecutors amended the charge after Bieniewicz died.

Defense lawyer Ali Hammoud says his client is "extremely remorseful" and "has been crying ever since."

A funeral for Bieniewicz is to be held Thursday.