Former NBA Star Keith Appling Reportedly Pleads Guilty to Second-Degree Murder 

The former Orlando Magic player was previously charged with the 2021 murder of 66-year-old Clyde Edmonds

Keith Appling
Keith Appling. Photo: Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty

Former NBA player Keith Appling is reportedly facing jail for second-degree murder.

On Monday, the ex-Orlando Magic star pleaded guilty to a second-degree murder charge in connection with the killing of66-year-old Clyde Edmonds and an associated felony firearm charge, reported CNN.

The Michigan State University basketball star — who was distantly related to Edmonds — entered his plea on the same day his trial was to start, added Fox Sports.

Authorities reportedly found Edmonds suffering from several gunshot wounds on the front lawn of a Detroit residence on May 22, 2021, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The outlet added that Appling reportedly shot Edwards three times while arguing over a firearm, before fleeing the scene. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital, it continued.

The basketball player's girlfriend, Natalie Bannister, also allegedly drove Appling away from the scene of the crime and was consequently charged on one count of Accessory After the Fact, and one count of Lying to a Peace Officer, according to a statement released by prosecuting attorney Kym Worthy at the time of Appling's arrest.

Bannister pleaded guilty to the lying charge and received 18 months of probation, the Detroit Free Press reported. The other two charges were dropped under Bannister's plea agreement.

"It has been clear that this man has been spiraling downward for some time," prosecutor Worthy added in her statement. "Many of those that tried to intervene with this defendant were hoping that he would get on the right track and stay there."

Keith Appling
Keith Appling. Andy Lyons/Getty

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"It is always tragic when one with so much promise, talent, and possibility is alleged to have committed the most serious of crimes," she added.

Appling had previously been jailed for a year for carrying a concealed weapon in 2016, reported ESPN. While on parole for the crime in 2020, he was also charged with drug-related crimes after police discovered a "golf ball-sized" amount of heroin in his car, the outlet added. He then served 18 months probation, reported The Detroit Free Press.

CNN added that Appling's plea agreement will result in a sentence of 18 to 40 years in a correctional facility in addition to two years of a consecutive sentence for the felony firearm charge. Sentencing is scheduled to take place on March 3.

Appling's attorney and the Wayne County assistant prosecutor's office did not immediately reply to PEOPLE's request for information.

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