Felony charges against Eastern Michigan basketball star Emoni Bates will soon be dropped, and the former five-star recruit has been reinstated to the team according to the university.
“The Eastern Michigan University department of athletics has received notification that there is an agreement between the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office and Emoni Bates’ defense team that would result in the felony charges being dismissed,” the statement reads. “In accordance with EMU athletics policies, Mr. Bates is immediately reinstated to all athletic and campus activities.”
Bates’ attorney, Steven Haney, confirmed to the Free Press on Thursday that the charges will be dropped in exchange for a misdemeanor. Bates will also have to complete a diversion program in order to have his record expunged.
As part of the agreement, Bates will also enter a mentorship program. Bates attended EMU practice on Thursday.
Bates was charged with two felonies, carrying a concealed weapon and “altering ID marks,” which could have carried prison sentences of five and two years, respectively. Last week, Bates entered a not guilty plea at his probable cause hearing.
The Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office could not confirm that the charges will be dropped, instead telling the Free Press, “as with all of our cases and pursuant to our ethical obligations we will not be making public comment of substance until the judicial process is concluded. “
A police report and dash and body cam footage, obtained by the Free Press via Freedom of Information Act, showed Bates, 18, was also driving without a license and in possession of marijuana and tobacco.
Bates had been suspended from classes and the basketball program since his Sept. 18 arrest when, according to the police report, he was pulled over for running a stop sign at the corner of Nottingham and Clark in Superior Township.
According to the video and police report, Bates admitted to law enforcement he had marijuana after officers mentioned the odor coming from the car.
“Here’s the issue, I smell weed coming from this car right now,” video showed one deputy said to Bates.
“I just left my cousin’s house,” Bates responded. “I just smoked.”
“OK, how much weed is in the car right now?” the deputy asked.
“It’s right there,” Bates replied, pointing to a bag on the ground.
At that point, the officer told Bates he now had probable cause to search the car and asked Bates to step out of he vehicle. When the officer first approached the vehicle, he asked Bates if there were any guns or drugs in the car. Bates then said no.
When Bates exited the car, he raised his hands in the air and said: “I’m not going to lie sir, you might as well just (handcuff) me up right now.” He then told the officer there was a gun in the car.
Bates was driving a black Mitsubishi Outlander with a Tennessee license plate, registered to a business “BMGT LLC.” Records indicate that business is connected to an address located in Memphis, Tennessee.
Video showed Bates was allowed to call his parents in the back of the patrol vehicle as he was taken to the station, and after his mother and father consoled him, a discussion of the car did come up.
“When people ask about the vehicle, it’s a company vehicle that’s in my name,” a male voice said on the phone. “But… don’t answer (expletive).”
Last month, Haney told the Free Press the car and the gun did not belong to his client. On Thursday, Haney said that Bates’ car was “in the shop.”
Bates, a 6-foot-9 wing, is now on track to open the season with EMU for its exhibition opener against Grand Valley State on Oct. 27 and its regular season opener on Nov. 7 against Wayne State.
Bates, who spent his freshman year at Memphis where he averaged 9.7 points and 3.3 rebounds, is an Ypsilanti native.
Contact Tony Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @realtonygarcia.