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Keith Appling, a former Michigan State basketball player who led the program in scoring during his junior season in 2012-13, pleaded guilty to a second-degree murder charge and a felony firearm charge on Monday, ahead of his second trial.
As reported by the Detroit Free Press, Appling, 31, reached a plea deal concerning the murder of 66-year-old Clyde Edmonds in Detroit.
Ex-Spartan’s Murder Case
The fatal incident occurred on May 22, 2021. Appling and Edmonds got involved in a heated altercation over a stolen handgun. According to Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office records, Appling shot the man several times. The elderly man succumbed to his wounds at a nearby hospital shortly after.
Appling fled the scene that Saturday evening and was arrested 55 miles west of Detroit (near Chelsea, Michigan) around 10 a.m. the following day. His girlfriend, Natalie Bannister, drove Appling away from the scene and later lied to police regarding her involvement in the incident. Bannister was charged with being an accessory to the shooting and for lying to officers, according to the Free Press. She received 1.5 years of probation after pleading guilty to lying to the authorities on July 2022.
Appling is expected to serve 18-40 years in prison; also due for two years in prison for the firearm charge. Appling faced three charges following his arrest: first-degree premeditated murder, felony possession and two felony firearm violations.
Appling’s Difficult Run After Basketball
The troubled ex-basketball player had a difficult run after making several attempts at the pros. He had a limited run in the formerly named D League from 2014 to 2016 and played on back-to-back 10-day contracts for the Orlando Magic during the 2016 season.
In 2017, Appling received a one-year county jail sentence and four years probation for possessing a weapon and resisting arrest. In 2020, he received 18 months of probation after getting caught attempting to sell heroin.
Appling’s sentence hearing is scheduled for March 3.
Follow Alejandro Avila on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela
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