BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)– As Bill Sager lies in the intensive care unit at ECMC, critically hurt, Jeffrey Basil– the man accused of assaulting him– is preparing to hear evidence against him.
“I want to know what happened before he fell down the stairs,” said Frank Clark, the former Erie County District Attorney.
Clark says this felony hearing is a way for the defense to show there is not enough evidence for charges filed against Basil, who is charged with felony assault.
Police say Basil pushed Sager down the stairs inside Mollys Pub, nearly three weeks ago.
Sources tell News 4, Basil demanded Sager be arrested for assault and trespassing after Sager landed at the bottom of the stairs.
“The defense council wants the prelim hearing to be run because he wants to see those two cards in my hand,” Clark said. “It’s like playing poker and showing the guy on the other side two of your cards.”
Basil is represented by prominent defense attorney Joel Daniels. Daniels has signaled to prosecutors he wants the hearing to go forward.
“This gives him the opportunity to hear whatever witness or witnesses I have have to say and more importantly, he gets to cross examine them,” Clark said.
A source close to the investigation says Adam O’Shei is likely to be called as a witness.
O’Shei was one the off-duty police officers working security at the bar. A source close to the suspended officer says O’Shei tried to help Sager and was one of three who carried the unconscious Sager outside.
He told others he thought it would be good to get some fresh air.
Another source close to the investigation said “nobody thought he was as badly hurt as he was.”
Clark says witness testimony is important to the case against Jeff Basil.
“If they found sufficient evidence then he’ll be held for the grand jury,” Clark said. “If for some unforeseen reason, a judge should find insufficient evidence, he could be released.”
Joel Daniels has not returned numerous phone calls to News 4. The hearing is scheduled for 9:30 Friday morning.