Former MSU basketball star Keith Appling charged with first-degree murder

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Former Michigan State University basketball star Keith Appling has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with a May 22 shooting in Detroit, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said Monday.

Appling, 29, of Detroit is charged in the fatal shooting of Clyde Edmonds, 66, on the front lawn of Edwards' home in the 13200 block of Whitcomb. His wife is the first cousin of Appling’s mother, according to the Prosecutor's Office.

Keith Appling

The other charges include felon in possession of a firearm and felony firearm. 

Appling's girlfriend, Natalie Brooks Banister, 28, of Jackson also has been charged in connection with the case.  Appling and Banister will be arraigned 11 a.m. Thursday via Zoom in 36th District Court. 

Appling is accused of having an argument with Edmonds over a handgun that resulted in the fatally shooting of the victim "multiple times before he fled the scene," according to Worthy's office.

Bannister allegedly drove Appling away from the scene and failed to tell the truth to officers investigating the case, the prosecutor said. She has been charged with one count of accessory after the fact and lying to a peace officer. 

Officers arrived at the shooting scene on the city's northwest side 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.  

A relative said "he heard multiple gunshots" and went outside to find Appling with a gun in his hand, according to the police report, which added that the relative wrestled the gun away from him.

The shooting sparked a manhunt for the former basketball star that ended May 24 in his arrest in Chelsea by Michigan State Police. MSP spokesman First Lt. Mike Shaw said Appling was arrested by MSP's fugitive team without incident. Appling, along with a loaded weapon, were turned over to Detroit police, Shaw said.

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.

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.

“It has been clear that this man has been spiraling downward for some time. Many of those that tried to intervene with this defendant were hoping that he would get on the right track and stay there,” Worthy said in a statement Tuesday. “It is always tragic when one with so much promise, talent, and possibility is alleged to have committed the most serious of crimes.”