Keith Appling, a former NBA player, entered a plea of guilty on Monday to second-degree murder in the shooting death of a 66-year-old distant relative in 2021. Appling, an Orlando Magic player, pled guilty to a related felony firearm offense, according to CNN.
According to reports, Appling entered a guilty plea to the charges the day before his trial was set to begin. The former basketball player for Michigan State University is charged with repeatedly shooting Clyde Edmonds. On May 22, 2021, the incident took place in a residence in Detroit, according to the Detroit Free Press.
During a dispute regarding a pistol, Appling is alleged to have started shooting at Edmonds. After being transported to a hospital, the person was declared dead. Following the shooting of Edmonds, Appling also left the scene.
The ex-basketball player’s girlfriend, Natalie Bannister, was also accused of being involved in the murder of Emond. Appling is alleged to have been driven away from the crime scene by Bannister. She was accused by the authorities of accessory after the fact and lying to a peace officer.
After pleading guilty to the charge of lying, Bannister was given a probationary period of 18 months. Due to the plea agreement, the other two charges were also dropped, according to the Detroit Free Press.
“It has been clear that this man has been spiraling downward for some time,” prosecuting attorney Kym Worthy said in a statement. “Many of those that tried to intervene with this defendant were hoping that he would get on the right track and stay there.”
Worthy added: “It is always tragic when one with so much promise, talent, and possibility is alleged to have committed the most serious of crimes.”
Appling has previously run into trouble with the law. According to ESPN, he was imprisoned for a year in 2016 for a firearms charge. While he was on parole for the aforementioned felony in 2020, authorities also charged him with drug-related offenses. According to reports, police discovered “golf ball-sized” amounts of heroin in his car.
According to the conditions of his plea deal, Appling may receive a sentence for the felony firearm conviction of 18 to 40 years in prison as well as a two-year consecutive sentence, according to CNN. March 3 has been set aside for his sentence.