BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – News broke late Friday that the State Liquor Authority is charging two bars connected to Jeffrey Basil, the manager of Mollys Pub, after his appearance in court on an attempted murder charge.
According to prosecutor Chris Belling, the charge against Basil could become murder at any moment because Bill Sager, the victim in this case, is a moment away from death.
Prosecutor Chris Belling said Bill Sager, the victim in this case, is a moment away from death.
Basil now stands accused of attempted murder, among other charges. He walked into court on his own but walked out in handcuffs. The Mollys Pub manager was sent back to jail on $75,000 bail after pleading not guilty to the charges. He was bailed out Friday afternoon.
Basil is accused of trying to kill Sager at Mollys Pub, back in May. Belling says Basil launched Sager down the main staircase at the bar, leaving him in a coma.
Friday, the State Liquor Authority revealed it has filed eight violations against Mollys Pub, including assault, employing police officers and concealing Basil as an owner of the bar. The SLA has also charged Cafe Etc on Evans Street in Niagara Falls, which is owned by John Bradley, for concealing Basil as an owner of that bar. Cafe Etc is also facing five additional violations.
The SLA says these are administrative charges, which are separate from any criminal charges the businesses may face. In this case, the licensee, Norman Habib, is charged in connection to Mollys Pub, and John Bradley is charged in connection to Cafe Etc.
Each violation is subject to a $10,000 fine and a possible license revocation. The businesses have until August 13 to respond.
Habib’s attorney, Dennis Vacco, said the charges don’t make sense.
“It is an absolute falsehood that Jeff Basil is or was ever an owner, silent or otherwise, of Mollys Pub. The curiosity here is that the SLA knew that Jeff Basil, despite his criminal past was employed as the manager of Mollys Pub.”
Vacco said “we have the proof to establish” that Basil is not an owner of Mollys, despite the name of Habib’s ownership company, NHJB Inc.
Pressed about the company name, Vacco confirmed the “NH” does stand for Norman Habib. But he said, “the JB in NHJB is not Jeffrey Basil… There is no JB.”
In court, prosecutor Belling outlined a litany of arrests, charges and prosecutions Basil has had dating back to 1996. Prosecutors outlined the charges as a reason to hold Basil on a high bail.
At this point, the stage is being set for a trial. Prosecutors will have to prove Basil intended to try and kill Sager at Mollys Pub.
Basil’s attorney Joel Daniels argues this may just be a reckless situation.
“Well intoxication will be an issue in this case, I don’t want to get into it too much more than that, but when people are intoxicated, that may affect their intent. I think that will be something raised during the trial,” he said.
Witnesses have testified Basil was drunk and high the night Sager was hurt. Daniels appears to want to use that to show reasonable doubt that Basil did not intend to kill Sager.