NPR News for Central and Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Eastern Michigan University basketball star Emoni Bates' charges to be dropped


The legal team representing Eastern Michigan University basketball star Emoni Bates has reached a plea agreement with the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office.

In exchange for the dropping of two felony gun charges, Bates will plead guilty to attempted illegal transportation of a weapon. This is a misdemeanor which can be cleared from his record as long as he completes a diversion program for youthful offenders.

Last month, a firearm was found in a car driven by Bates during a traffic stop in Superior Township. The former national high school player of the year claimed the car and the gun were not his.

Bates’ attorney Steve Haney says he’s aware of the optics of this case.

“I don’t think it was done because of his celebrity," Haney said. "I think it was done because it was the fair and right thing to do based on the facts. He’s 18 years old. Unfortunately, him being at 18 years old is different than probably any other 18-year-old in sports that would have gotten in trouble and made a mistake. And now he’s able to rejoin his teammates and get back to school.”

Bates’ suspension at EMU is now lifted and he is free to attend classes and practice with the team. The plea agreement is expected to be finalized in court on Wednesday.