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.