NORWICH – The trial of The People vs. Michael Thiel continued Wednesday with the Chenango County District Attorney's Office calling a number of witnesses to the stand.
Thiel, 39, of Otselic, stands accused of second degree assault – class D violent felony – and third degree assault, a class A misdemeanor. It’s alleged that, on or about May 22, of 2012, Thiel, “with intent to cause serious physical injury to another person” and “with intent to cause physical injury to another person,” seriously injured Plymouth resident Bill Buckley outside the Otselic American Legion in Otselic, allegedly striking him in the face with a closed fist and causing Buckley to lose consciousness. It is also alleged that – after Buckley had been rendered unconscious – Thiel continued striking his face repeatedly with closed fists.
During Wednesday's trial proceedings, Randy Yale, commander of the Sons of the American Legion in Otselic, was called to the stand by District Attorney Joseph McBride.
Yale described for the court how he had arrived at the Otselic American Legion at approximately 5:30 p.m. on May 22, 2012, to prepare the legion's pavilion for an upcoming barbecue. According to Yale's testimony, Bill Buckley, also a member of the Sons of the American Legion, arrived afterward to assist him. At some point during their preparations, another member, William Massey, approached and engaged Buckley in conversation. Yale claimed he could not hear the conversation, but testified that he observed Buckley to be upset. Shortly afterwards, Buckley left the vicinity of the Otselic American Legion.