Judge scolds Malik McDowell for leaving state without OK
Pontiac — During troubled NFL hopeful Malik McDowell’s brief appearance Thursday in Oakland County Circuit Court, the judge took exception with a report he may have traveled outside Michigan without his permission and missed a routine alcohol test.
McDowell, a former Michigan State standout, was in court for a pretrial hearing on a February traffic stop that resulted in charges that he was driving while intoxicated, assaulted and resisted a Lathrup Village police officer and was driving on a suspended license. His next court date is July 28.
Additionally, McDowell was arraigned in an April incident in which he is charged with receiving and concealing a stolen $74,000 pickup truck he said he bought on the street for $3,000.
The appearances in both cases were routine but when Judge Michael Warren raised questions about McDowell missing a court services appointment, the judge was not happy at learning McDowell was out of state. He ordered McDowell to return to court next Wednesday for a hearing that could lead to his bond being revoked.
“He had permission from two district judges for leaving Michigan for medical or employment reasons,” attorney Mitchell Ribitwer told Warren.
“He didn’t have my permission,” Warren responded.
Thursday’s appearance was McDowell’s first before Warren, who has been assigned both criminal cases, which carry up to five years in prison on conviction.
In the February incident, McDowell allegedly refused to hand over his license to a police officer and during a confrontation inside a gas station, grabbed the officer's wrist and put his hand on the officer’s gun.
McDowell, who is 6-foot, 6-inches tall and weighs 300 pounds, was eventually subdued with the help of a second police officer. While McDowell was shot with a Taser, no one was seriously injured in the incident.
The assault charges are misdemeanors, punishable by one year in jail.
“We hope to discuss with the prosecutor’s office reducing these charges and reaching some kind of a settlement,” Ribitwer said.
McDowell was a highly sought-after recruit who starred as a defensive lineman for the Spartans and was drafted in the second round in 2017 by the NFL's Seattle Seahawks. However, he has not played a down in the league after suffering a head injury in an ATV crash in July 2017.