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Appling advised to stay away from guns, avoid Detroit

Oralandar Brand-Williams, and James David Dickson

Keith Appling was told by a Detroit magistrate to stay away from guns and his new attorney suggested he stay away from Detroit after the former Michigan State University basketball star was arraigned for his third gun-related arrest this year.

Appling, who appeared by video, was given a $50,000 bond. He’ll need 10 percent to get out of jail.

He is due in Wayne Circuit Judge Lawrence Talon’s court Wednesday for an emergency motion hearing filed by the Wayne County prosecutor’s office regarding his bond. Talon is presiding over Appling’s two gun cases in Detroit and Dearborn and may also preside over the latest case, said Appling’s defense attorney, Otis Culpepper.

Appling’s probable cause conference on the latest charges is Sept. 6. His preliminary examination is Sept. 13.

A representative from the Detroit Police Department asked that Appling be given a high bond.

Culpepper, said he plans to get his client out Tuesday and questioned whether police “properly” confiscated contraband from Appling. He said he feels “assured that there will be no more pistols in this boy’s life ... ”

Culpepper said if Appling were his son he would advise him to get out of Detroit given the three arrests in a short period of time.

“If he was my son I would probably try to relocate him,” said Culpepper, who said star athletes who have found themselves on the other side of the law are “lightning rods” for more trouble. Culpepper said he feels his client still has a chance at success and that he’s “doing as well as can be expected.”

Appling’s was taken into custody around 9:10 p.m. Sunday near Russell and East Seven Mile, according to Detroit police. Officers from the department’s tactical response unit pulled him over after allegedly spotting his blue 2013 Dodge Challenger make a traffic violation.

When officers talked with Appling, they allegedly noticed “a strong odor of marijuana” coming from the car and requested his driver’s license.

But when the officer reached inside the Challenger to get the license, Appling allegedly rolled up the window and drove off. The officer was able to free himself from the car before it pulled away, and was not dragged or hurt, according to the statement.

Officers pursued Appling’s vehicle to Orleans and East State Fair, the statement said, “and took Appling into custody without incident.”

At that point, an officer involved in the initial stop noticed a Gucci bag that had been in the back seat of the Challenger was no longer there. Police said officers backtracked the route Appling drove and found the bag, which contained paperwork with Appling’s name on it, along with a blue steel semi-automatic Beretta with 10 live rounds inside, on the side of the road.

Appling was arrested for fleeing and eluding and for carrying a concealed weapon, said Sgt. Michael Woody of the Detroit Police Department. The suspected marijuana was never recovered.

Tuesday’s arraignment is the latest in a string of legal troubles for the former Detroit Pershing basketball star.

On May 1, security officers at The Pantheion Club on the 12900 block of Michigan allegedly observed a man pulling a gun out of the trunk of a car in the parking lot. Dearborn police responded and allegedly saw Appling in the driver’s seat of the car security had described.

After a search, police said they found a handgun under the driver’s seat, a small amount of what they believe to be marijuana, and a loaded weapon in the trunk.

Then on June 18, Detroit police arrested Appling after officers stopped a fast-driving Dodge Charger at Hanna and East Seven Mile. Woody said officers saw Appling, a passenger, place a weapon under a seat.

Appling played at Michigan State from 2010-14, starting 132 games for the Spartans. He averaged 11.2 points and 4.5 assists as a senior. He played five games last season for the NBA’s Orlando Magic, spending most of the season with the Erie BayHawks of the NBA D-League.

Appling’s agent, Ronald Shade, had not heard about Appling’s latest brush with the law when contacted Monday by The Detroit News. He said he would comment on it once he has spoken with Appling’s mother.

bwilliams@detroitnews.com