Ex-MSU star Appling’s attorneys: Vehicle search illegal

Holly Fournier
The Detroit News

Dearborn — Attorneys for former Michigan State basketball star Keith Appling plan to ask a judge to suppress evidence found in their client’s vehicle during what they say was an illegal search, the lawyers revealed during a brief hearing Friday.

Former Michigan State basketball star Keith Appling is due back in court Friday for a preliminary examination connected to one of two cases against him involving concealed weapons and drug charges.

Appling was in court Friday for his preliminary examination, which was adjourned until Aug. 5 to give Dearborn’s 19th District Court Judge William Hultgren time to review several videos submitted Friday by the defense team.

Defense attorneys will reference the discs’ contents in their motion to suppress the search of their client’s vehicle, they said. The search led to Appling’s arrest around 6:50 p.m. May 1 outside the Pantheion Club on the 12900 block of Michigan Avenue.

Officers allegedly found a handgun under his driver’s seat, a small amount of what they believe to be marijuana, and a loaded weapon in the trunk. Appling cooperated with police and was arrested at the scene.

The discs submitted Friday contain a 911 dispatch call, three in-car police dashcam views and footage from outside the club. The footage proves Appling never should have been searched, according to his attorneys.

Attorney Amir Makled said after the hearing Friday that a 911 caller that night described a man pulling a gun from the trunk of a black Dodge Charger with a specific license plate, parked in the club’s lot.

“And after (responding police) found and searched that vehicle, they continued over to our client’s car,” Makled said, referring to the footage turned over to the judge Friday. “It’s our contention that (the search) was inappropriate.”

Prosecutor Kal Najar did not comment after the hearing, but agreed in court to submit the discs to the judge.

Appling, a former Michigan State guard, is charged with carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a loaded firearm in a vehicle, and possession of marijuana.

His attorney, Cyril Hall, has said he believes his client was racially profiled by Dearborn police looking for other suspects.

The Dearborn charges represent the first of two recent gun cases against Appling. He also faces similar charges in Detroit after officers allegedly found a concealed weapon on Appling during a traffic stop in June.

Appling, who starred at Detroit Pershing, 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.


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