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Posted on Wed, Jul 14, 2010 : 2:30 p.m.

Saline man convicted of attempted murder for repeatedly stabbing acquaintance

By Art Aisner

A Saline man was again convicted of attempted murder for repeatedly stabbing an acquaintance in 2008.

Jurors deliberated for roughly two hours Tuesday morning before finding Timothy Becktel, 36, guilty of assault with intent to murder for slashing Stephen Kozmiuk more than 40 times with a large knife in the February 2008 attack, officials said.


Timothy Becktel

His first conviction, reached after a two-day trial in 2008, was overturned by the Michigan State Court of Appeals because Circuit Judge David Swartz did not officially swear-in the jury.

On Monday, jurors heard testimony from several witnesses, including Kozmiuk, who still suffers from pain and limited movement with his hands and arms, Saline Detective Don Lupi said.

Testimony showed the two men began to argue and continued their confrontation in a nearby alley where police found Kozmiuk, then 25, lying unconscious in a large pool of blood.

Unlike the first trial, Becktel testified and said that he could not remember much about the assault and could not have intended to kill Kozmiuk, who was a drinking buddy, officials said.

Both men were highly intoxicated at the time of assault, police said.

Becktel was serving a 15- to 40-year prison sentence when the trial began and remains in custody pending sentencing on Aug. 12. He'll likely face a similar sentence, officials said.

Art Aisner is a freelance writer for Reach the news desk at or 734-623-2530.



Sat, Aug 7, 2010 : 9:27 p.m.

I hope they keep this little ray of sunshine behind bars for a very long time.


Sat, Aug 7, 2010 : 4:20 p.m.

Maybe forgetful judges should have a checklist like pilots do before a take off. Sworn in jury - check


Fri, Aug 6, 2010 : 3:08 p.m.

Yikes. Time to quit drinking when you black out.


Thu, Jul 15, 2010 : 8:29 p.m.

Very happy to hear he is being kept in custody. Drinking buddies getting stupid, then one tries to kill the other. I don't get it, but then I don't drink either.

Joe Citizen

Thu, Jul 15, 2010 : 8:13 a.m.

I wonder if Judge Swartz will have to pay for any part of the re-trial. It appears that the the cause for appeal was entirely his fault. A total waste of taxpayer dollars over some stupid technicality. As if the jury in the original trial was unable to render a fair verdict without first being sworn in.