Consequences unknown as Mbakwe returns to Florida court

  • Updated: October 17, 2012 - 8:08 AM
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Trevor Mbakwe

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"Anything could happen" Wednesday at a court hearing for Gophers men's basketball player Trevor Mbakwe, said Terry Chavez of the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office.

The hearing in Florida -- at which Mbakwe is scheduled to appear -- is a "status report" triggered by Mbakwe's September drunken driving conviction in Minnesota. He 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 over the summer.

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 is set, Chavez said the sentence could range from more probation to jail time.

Last year, when Mbakwe was bounced from the pretrial program after violating a Minnesota restraining order when he posted a message on his ex-girlfriend's Facebook page, Chavez said that some of the harsher sentences that were on the table then were unrealistic.

This time around, "anything is realistic," she said. "This adds a different element because ... he's now been convicted, in Minnesota, of a DUI. So that changes things."

Mbakwe was allowed to return to the team after the drunken driving arrest. "He's lucky to still be around here," coach Tubby Smith said last week, adding that he considered dismissing the senior from the team.

AMELIA RAYNO

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