BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Jury selection started Monday morning for a man accused of shoving a national guardsman down the stairs of a Buffalo bar.
Prosecutors have charged Jeffrey Basil with murder, manslaughter and tampering with evidence. William Sager, 28, spent months in an Intensive Care Unit and later died.
Before jury selection began, Basil and his lawyer appeared before a judge. That’s when the prosecution handed over disk six to the defense. The disk contains information from the Buffalo Police Department’s internal affairs.
When the judge asked the potential jurors if they saw the case on television, most of them said ‘yes.’ Next, about 10 potential jurors were questioned at a time in a separate room, with only a few returning to the pool of jurors after questioning.
Basil’s attorney admits his client pushed Sager down the flight of stairs at Mollys pub, but said he never intended to kill Sager.
Off-duty Police Officer Robert Eloff was there at the incident. A judge has ordered him to testify during the trial. Based on what Eloff said during a hearing last May, he may not answer many questions.
Eloff said, “I respectfully decline to answer that question upon the grounds that, to do so might tend to be incriminating in violation of my rights under the fifth amendment.”
Prosecutors said Eloff could face charges down the road.