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.
This is Amelia Rayno's fifth season on the Gophers men's basketball beat. She learned college basketball in North Carolina (Go Tar Heels!), where fanhood is not an option. In 2010, she joined the Star Tribune after graduating from Boston's Emerson College, which sadly had no exciting D-I college hoops to latch onto. Amelia has also worked on the sports desk at the Boston Globe and interned at the Detroit News. Follow Rayno on Twitter @AmeliaRayno.
The question now is whether Minnesota can move past a bad long weekend and pick up some steam through the rest of this month and next – or whether a not-so-easy slate between now and New Year's will put the Gophers on the path toward the basement.