In a shocking turn of events, a former standout basketball player from Michigan State University and a brief member of the Orlando Magic, Keith Damon Appling, admitted his guilt in the second-degree murder and firearm charges related to the 2021 shooting death of a Detroit resident, Clyde Edmonds.
On Monday, Appling appeared in the Wayne County Circuit Court, where he entered a plea of guilty in response to one count of second-degree murder and one count of felony firearm. The scheduled trial for the same charges was due to begin on the same day.
A prep star from Detroit Pershing, Appling played basketball at Michigan State from 2010 to 2014. He later played professionally overseas and had two short stints with the Magic. In June 2021, Appling was charged with the murder of Edmonds, who died after being shot following an argument over a handgun on May 22, 2021. The victim’s wife and Appling’s mother are first cousins, according to authorities.
As part of the plea agreement, Appling will face 18 to 40 years in prison for the second-degree murder charge, and an additional two years consecutively for the firearm charge. The remaining charges, which included first-degree murder, felony possession of a firearm, and a second count of felony firearm, will be dismissed at the sentencing hearing on March 3, as announced by Prosecutor Kym Worthy in a statement.
It was reported by The Detroit News that Appling’s girlfriend, Natalie Bannister, drove him away from the crime scene. Bannister had previously pleaded guilty to lying to a police officer and was sentenced to 18 months of probation. Under her plea agreement, the charges of accessory after the fact and a second count of lying to police were dropped.