Former Michigan State basketball star Keith Appling arrested for murder

Appling and the elderly victim, who is one of his relatives, got into a heated verbal altercation that turned physical

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Keith Appling, a former Michigan State University basketball star, could spend the rest of his life behind bars after being arrested Monday in connection with the death of a 66-year-old Michigan man.

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According to Michigan State Police in Chelsea, the fatal shooting occurred Saturday night on Detroit’s west side. Appling, 29, is accused of firing multiple gunshots that left Clyde Edward dead. Appling fled the scene in a Buick Regal and remained at large until police caught up with him on May 24. 

The victim was no stranger to Appling, as the two men are related. Appling and Edward got into a heated verbal altercation that turned physical before shots were fired at about 7 p.m. Saturday.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene and a black revolver was recovered a few feet away from a Michigan State University hat, the Detroit Free Press reports. One of Appling’s relatives, along with several witnesses, identified him as the shooter, according to a police report obtained by The Detroit News.

Appling, who was a high school All-American at Detroit Pershing and won the state’s Mr. Basketball, was arrested without incident by state troopers on Monday. A firearm was recovered during the arrest, police said. The Detroit native previously served a year in jail and five years probation after pleading guilty in 2017 to carrying a concealed weapon and resisting and obstructing a Detroit police officer during a traffic stop.

Per MLive, the prosecutor’s office said of the concealed carry charge at the time: “On June 18, 2016 at 1:30 a.m. Appling was driving his car when the police had him pull over and conducted a traffic stop at Hanna Street and Seven Mile in Detroit. During the stop, it is alleged that the police discovered that Appling had a handgun under the driver’s seat.”

In December, Appling was sentenced to 18 months of probation after police found 19 grams of heroin in the car he was driving during a traffic stop in Warren.

As part of his probation, Appling was to refrain from drugs and alcohol; be employed 30 hours a week; undergo outpatient or residential treatment, and had his license suspended for six months, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Appling played for Michigan State from 2010-14 and had a brief stint in the NBA with the Orlando Magic. He also played in the G-League and various international leagues, including in the Dominican Republic in 2019.

Several of Appling’s former teammates have reacted to his arrest over the weekend.  

“Legit heartbroken & sick right now. … Damn man,” said former Spartan Anthony Ianni

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“Lost for words. Damn,” said Branden Dawson, who played three seasons with Appling at Michigan State.

The shooting remains under investigation.

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