Miami-Dade court spokesperson on Mbakwe case: Could be more probation, could be jail time. "Anything is realistic."
October 16, 2012 — 12:44pm
Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office Spokesperson Terry Chavez said “anything could happen” Wednesday in Trevor Mbakwe’s hearing, but this case is most likely still a ways from over.
Tomorrow’s hearing – at which Mbakwe is personally scheduled to appear -- is simply a “status report,” triggered by Mbakwe’s September DUI conviction in Minnesota. Mbakwe was put on probation in Florida as part of a pretrial intervention program for a felony assault charge in 2009 and was still on probation when he was arrested in Minnesota. Chavez said the case could be set for a probation violation hearing or the attorney could ask the judge for some sort of plea negotiation.
If a probation violation hearing were set, Chavez said the sentence could range from more probation to jail time.
When I spoke to Chavez last year about Mbakwe after Mbakwe was “bounced” from the pretrial program after violating a Minnesota restraining order (he posted a message on his ex-girlfriend’s Facebook page), she said that some of the harsher sentences that were on table then were unrealistic.
“It could be a plethora of things but it’s probably not going to include jail time because you don’t take a leap from pre-trial intervention to jail,” Chavez said at the time.
This time around, “anything is realistic,” she said. “This adds a different element because he has a new – he’s now been convicted, in Minnesota, of a DUI. So that changes things.”
Chavez said she had no idea how much jail time could be a possibility.
“It’s all up to the court,” she said.
Again, none of this would happen tomorrow; there would need to be another hearing.
Mbakwe was arrested for the DUI in Minnetonka in July after failing to pull to the side of the road when a squad car, responded to a burglary call, came up behind him. The University of Minnesota did not acknowledge the incident until Friday, at basketball Media Day.
Marcus Fuller joined the Star Tribune in 2016 after 11 years covering Gophers sports – and just about every other team and league in town -- for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Before making the Twin Cities his home, Marcus spent two years in The Kansas City Star sports department. Marcus grew up in Hawaii and is a 2002 graduate of San Jose State. Follow Fuller on Twitter @Marcus_R_Fuller.