- Associated Press - Thursday, November 6, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - A Detroit-area soccer player charged in the one-punch slaying of a referee will have his case go before a different judge.

Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway recused herself Thursday from the case of Bassel Saad.

The Wayne County prosecutor’s office says an update will be issued when a new judge is assigned. Saad’s second-degree murder trial is set for Dec. 8, but that could be delayed due to the change.

Prosecutors and police say the 36-year-old Dearborn man punched 44-year-old John Bieniewicz (BEN’-uh-wits) on June 29 as Bieniewicz was preparing to red-card and eject Saad during an adult recreational league game in Livonia.

Saad’s lawyer has said his client is sorry for his actions, but called prosecutors’ second-degree murder case weak.

Bieniewicz lived in Westland with his wife and two sons.

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