Memphis basketball prospect Mikey Williams facing a trial on six felony firearm charges.

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Memphis basketball prospect Mikey Williams facing a trial on six felony firearm charges.

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Mikey Williams #1 of San Ysidro in a basketball game against Christopher Columbus at the Hoophall Classic on Saturday, January 14, 2023, in Springfield, MA. (Photo by Gregory Payan / AP)

By BERNIE WILSON

EL CAJON, Calif. (AP) — A Superior Court judge in El Cajon, California, ruled on Tuesday that Memphis basketball standout Mikey Williams must proceed to trial on six felony firearm charges, casting uncertainty over his immediate future in the sport.

Judge Sherry M. Thompson-Taylor scheduled Williams’ arraignment for October 24 and rejected the prosecution’s request to raise his bail to $500,000. Williams has been out on a $50,000 bond since his arrest on April 13.

Williams is currently attending online classes at Memphis and remains on the roster, although he does not have access to team facilities or activities. His status with the program will be determined once the court case reaches a resolution, as announced by the school late last month.

The Tigers commenced their practice sessions on September 25, with the season opener scheduled for November 6 against Jackson State.

Williams, who completed his high school career at San Ysidro High School, is facing five charges of assault with a weapon and one count of firing into an occupied vehicle. If found guilty on all counts, he could potentially face a maximum sentence of 28 years in prison.

The charges stem from an incident on March 27 when gunshots were fired at a vehicle leaving Williams’ $1.2 million residence in unincorporated Jamul in eastern San Diego County, following an argument just before midnight. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department reported that bullets struck the car, although no injuries were sustained by the five passengers inside.

Deputy District Attorney George Modlin noted that additional charges may be added based on testimony from Tuesday’s preliminary hearing, which revealed there were six individuals in the car and witnesses attested to threats made by Williams.

During the hearing, Williams was dressed in a black suit, black mock turtleneck, and white sneakers, accompanied by his attorney, Troy P. Owens.

Owens and Williams chose not to provide comments as they exited the courthouse on Tuesday. Owens, on Williams’ behalf, has entered pleas of not guilty.

Judge Thompson-Taylor asserted that, although there were no eyewitnesses to Williams discharging a firearm, there exists probable cause to proceed with the case. This determination is based on the testimony that witnesses observed Williams in possession of a gun and heard him issue threats to harm them.

Sheriff’s Detective Bradley Farr noted that, although the described firearm was not discovered during a search warrant executed at Williams’ residence on April 13, a handgun and other weapons were found.

After a morning recess, Deputy District Attorney Modlin informed Judge Thompson-Taylor that he had received reports of members in the public gallery making hand gestures and facial expressions that might be interpreted as attempts to intimidate a witness. He requested the court to clear the gallery if such actions persisted, and the judge cautioned the public that she would not tolerate such behavior.

Williams emerged as one of the early stars of the name, image, and likeness (NIL) era, securing a multiyear endorsement deal with Puma, a shoe and athletic apparel manufacturer, for an undisclosed sum in 2021. He had amassed a substantial following on his social media platforms, although he appears to have deactivated them since. At one point, On3.com estimated his NIL value at $3.6 million, but Williams no longer appears in the rankings.

Reference:

https://www.si.com/nba/pelicans/news/report-former-pelicans-assistant-to-become-chicago-sky-head-coach

https://www.sportskeeda.com/basketball/news-watch-deandre-jordan-trolls-young-suns-fan-signing-head-ahead-preseason-matchup#lnl6wfr11zy6zutew9i

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