Ex-MSU basketball star Appling faced bench warrants in 2 counties at time of his arrest

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Detroit — Judges in two different counties had issued bench warrants for former MSU basketball star Keith Appling for alleged probation violations before he was arrested Monday in connection with the fatal shooting of a relative. 

Appling was taken into custody Monday in Chelsea by Michigan State Police. He was sought after the Saturday slaying of Clyde Edwards, 66, who was fatally shot on his own front lawn in the 13200 block of Whitcomb. 

Police say a fatal shooting of 66-year-old Clyde Edwards occurred on May 22 in this block of Whitcomb on Saturday, May 22, 2021.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy's office said the review of a warrant request from Detroit police continues and a charging decision and arraignment are not anticipated Tuesday. 

The allegations are the latest in recent years for the ex-MSU basketball captain who pleaded guilty in 2017 to carrying a concealed weapon and resisting and obstructing a Detroit police officer during a 2016 traffic stop on Detroit's east side. As part of his plea, Appling was serving a term of five years' probation.  

Last fall, he also pleaded guilty in a drug-related case out of Macomb County and was given 18 months of probation.

Keith Appling

The drug case violated Appling's earlier probation terms, spurring a bench warrant in Macomb County on Feb. 16 and a separate warrant issued by Wayne County Circuit Judge Lawrence Talon on May 6. 

Authorities took Appling into custody weeks after the most recent warrant was issued and two days after his alleged involvement in the homicide. 

More:Relative's death sparks hunt for ex-Michigan State star Keith Appling, police report says

Detroit police officers arrived at the shooting scene Saturday night to find a black revolver lying on the front lawn a few feet from a green Michigan State University ball cap, according to a police report obtained by The Detroit News. 

This was on the 13200 block of Whitcomb, south of Schoolcraft and east of Greenfield on Detroit's west side.

The Detroit police report alleges Appling shot Edwards, a relative, on the front lawn of Edwards' home, then dropped the gun when another relative wrestled it away from him. 

In connection with his 2016 case, in exchange for two guilty pleas, charges of fleeing and eluding police and felony firearm against Appling were dismissed.

In October, Appling pleaded guilty to probation violations, and Talon continued his probation. It was set to end in August 2022. 

In November, Appling pleaded guilty in Macomb County to manufacture/delivery of drugs under 50 grams, and was sentenced to 18 months of probation. 

A warrant was issued for Appling in February in the Macomb County case after he was allegedly found with heroin during a traffic stop in Warren. 

Due to that incident, Talon ordered Appling to court for a show-cause hearing in March. 

Show cause hearings carry the possibility of a return to jail or a prison sentence.

Due to a "Zoom malfunction," court officials thought Appling skipped the hearing, said his defense attorney Joseph Arnone. But he was there, and Talon rescinded his bench warrant the same day it was issued.

Two months later, on May 6, Talon issued a bench warrant for violation of probation stemming from the Macomb County drug case, Arnone said.

Arnone said he hadn't been contacted about the new matter and declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

Appling is being held at the Detroit Detention Center.