Homicide

APNewsBreak: Lawyer says man charged with fatally punching soccer referee agrees to plea deal

  • Bassel Abdul Saad, left, sitting with his attorney Ali Hammoud, faces sentencing Friday in one-punch killing of referee John Bieniewicz during a game.(AP Photo/Detroit News, David Coates)

    Bassel Abdul Saad, left, sitting with his attorney Ali Hammoud, faces sentencing Friday in one-punch killing of referee John Bieniewicz during a game.(AP Photo/Detroit News, David Coates)

  • In a Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015 photo, basketball coach Kris Bieniewicz meets with her girls team during a practice session in Redford Township, Mich. Bieniewicz has tried to establish some normalcy for her two sons in the eight months since her husband and their father was killed while refereeing an over-30 men’s league match last summer. Bassel Saad, who is charged with punching and killing referee John Bieniewicz, has agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors in which he would serve 8-15 years in prison. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

    In a Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015 photo, basketball coach Kris Bieniewicz meets with her girls team during a practice session in Redford Township, Mich. Bieniewicz has tried to establish some normalcy for her two sons in the eight months since her husband and their father was killed while refereeing an over-30 men’s league match last summer. Bassel Saad, who is charged with punching and killing referee John Bieniewicz, has agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors in which he would serve 8-15 years in prison. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)  (The Associated Press)

A lawyer for a soccer player charged in the one-punch killing of a referee during a game says his client has agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors in which he would serve 8-15 years in prison.

Attorney Cyril Hall told The Associated Press he expects Bassel Saad to plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter during a hearing Friday in Detroit. A message was left Friday with the prosecutor.

Saad's trial had been scheduled to begin Monday. The 36-year-old auto mechanic from Dearborn is charged with second-degree murder.

Authorities say Saad struck John Bieniewicz (BEN'-uh-wits) once in the head during a match at a Livonia park last summer. The 44-year-old Bieniewicz died two days later.

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