DETROIT (AP)Former Michigan State University basketball star Keith Damon Appling was sentenced Friday to up to 40 years in prison for fatally shooting a man in an argument over a gun in 2021.
A Wayne County Circuit Court judge ordered Appling, 31, to serve 18 to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder and two years for a firearms charge, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.
Appling pleaded guilty last month. He asked the judge Friday if he could withdraw his guilty plea to second-degree murder, saying he didn’t have a full understanding of what he was pleading to. The judge denied the request.
Clyde Edmonds, 66, was slain May 22, 2021. Edmonds’ wife and Appling’s mother are first cousins, authorities said.
Prosecutors said Appling’s girlfriend, Natalie Bannister, drove Appling from the shooting scene. Bannister, 30, pleaded guilty last year to one count of lying to a police officer and was sentenced to 18 months of probation.
Appling was a prep star at Detroit Pershing and played guard at Michigan State from 2010 to 2014. He also played pro basketball overseas and had two brief contracts with the NBA’s Orlando Magic.
“What an extremely sad turn of events for a man that once had a promising future,” Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a release. “This was a senseless crime, and the fact remains that his victim will never know another day of life.”