BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The man accused of a deadly attack at Mollys Pub was back in court Monday. Jeff Basil is accused of pushing an Air National Guardsman down a flight of stairs.
The trial is still about 10 weeks away, but Monday’s pre-trial hearing gave insight into what the defense will focus on. Basil’s attorney said his client should not be charged with murder. William Sager spent months in a coma before he died.
Basil has been in jail for about three months now. Monday, the prosecution handed over to the defense the medical examiner’s report on William Sager, who prosecutors said was pushed by Basil from the top of a staircase.
Defense Attorney Joel Daniels claimed that the off-duty officers who were there that night waited almost 20 minutes before calling 911.
Daniels is also asked the judge to drop the most serious charge of murder, because he said there’s no proof that Basil intended to kill Sager.
“We’re talking about conscious objective to kill,” Daniels said. “It was merely someone putting their hands on Mr. Sager and Mr. Sager being pushed, the result of which is he went down the stairs.”
Daniels said, “At best, these facts rise to maybe manslaughter 1st degree, reckless manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide.”
Daniels is also asking the prosecution to justify its repeated use of the word “launch” in their arguments.
State Supreme Court Justice Penny Wolfgang reserved decision on whether to throw out the most serious charge of murder.