Former NBA Star Keith Appling pleads guilty to murder of relative

Francis Akhalbey February 16, 2023
Keith Appling pleaded guilty to second-degree murder -- Photo Credit: The Associated Press

Former NBA player Keith Appling on Monday pleaded guilty to second-degree murder over the 2021 shooting death of his 66-year-old distant relative. According to CNN, Appling, who played for the Orlando Magic, also pleaded guilty to an associated felony firearm charge.

Appling is said to have pleaded guilty to the charges on the same day his trial was scheduled to commence. The former Michigan State University basketball player is accused of shooting Clyde Edmonds multiple times. The incident happened at a home in Detroit on May 22, 2021, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Appling is said to have opened fire on Edmonds following an altercation over a gun. The victim was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. Appling also fled the scene after shooting Edmonds. 

Natalie Bannister, who is the former basketball player’s girlfriend, was also charged in connection with Emond’s killing. Bannister is said to have driven Appling away from the crime scene. Authorities charged her with one count of Accessory After the Fact and one count of Lying to a Peace Officer.

Bannister was sentenced to 18 months of probation after she entered a guilty plea for the lying charge. Authorities also dropped the other two charges because of the plea deal, the Detroit Free Press reported.

“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.” 

This isn’t the first time Appling has had a run-in with the law. He has spent a year in jail for a 2016 weapons offense, per ESPN. Authorities, in 2020, also brought drug-related charges against him while he was on parole for the aforementioned offense. Police reportedly found a “golf ball-sized” amount of heroin in his vehicle.

Per the terms of Appling’s plea agreement, he could be sentenced to 18 to 40 years in prison plus a two-year consecutive sentence for the felony firearm charge, CNN reported. His sentencing has been set for March 3.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: February 16, 2023

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