Jurors hear opening statements in assault trial, testimony resumes today

NORWICH – A jury has been selected and opening statements were made Tuesday in the case of The People vs. Michael Thiel, the defendant charged with second degree assault – a class D violent felony – and third degree assault, a class A misdemeanor.

It’s alleged that, on or about May 22, in 2012, Thiel, 39, of Otselic, “with intent to cause serious physical injury to another person” and “with intent to cause physical injury to another person,” did do so by striking Plymouth resident Bill Buckley in the face with a closed fist, rendering him unconscious, subsequently mounting the prone Buckley's chest and continuing to strike him repeatedly.

Following the alleged altercation, Buckley was airlifted to Upstate Hospital in Syracuse, where he received hours of intensive reconstructive surgery.

A jury was selected shortly after 3 p.m. yesterday, following which McBride and defense attorney Kelly E. Fischer gave their opening statements.

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