Felony charges against former top recruit Emoni Bates to be dismissed


The felony charges against Emoni Bates, a former top recruit now at Eastern Michigan, are set to be dismissed next week, his lawyer told ESPN.

Attorney Steve Haney said in a phone interview on Thursday that Bates is in the process of being reinstated by the university, athletic department and president. He had been suspended the past three weeks pending resolution of the felony charges.

Haney added that felony charges against Bates are set to be dismissed Wednesday in a session before the Washtenaw County (Michigan) Circuit Court.

Haney said he has negotiated a plea deal with the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s office in exchange for the dismissal of all felony charges. Bates is expected to plead to one misdemeanor count of attempted illegal transportation of a weapon. It will be entirely dismissed upon completion of a misdemeanor diversion program.

Eastern Michigan University confirmed Bates’ return to campus and school activities in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

“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 said. “In accordance with EMU athletics policies, Mr. Bates is immediately reinstated to all athletic and campus activities.”

“I’m very pleased this matter has been resolved so Emoni can get back to school and join his teammates,” Haney added on behalf of his client.

Bates was arrested on Sept. 18 and charged with carrying a concealed weapon and “altering ID marks” on a firearm. A plea of not guilty was entered on Bates’ behalf the next day.

Haney told ESPN that the arrest came after a routine traffic stop when Bates was driving a borrowed car that had a gun in it.

According to the police report obtained by ESPN, deputies observed a black Mitsubishi Outlander run a stop sign and initiated a traffic stop. The report says Bates stated there was marijuana and a handgun in the vehicle and an ensuing search of the vehicle uncovered a gun under the driver’s seat. The serial number under the barrel of the gun had been removed, according to the report.

Bates, a 6-foot-9 small forward, was considered one of the elite basketball prospects in the country throughout his high school career, ranking No. 1 in the 2022 class until he reclassified last summer and ended up at No. 3 in 2021.

He originally committed to Michigan State in summer 2020, then reopened his recruitment in April 2021 before reclassifying from 2022 to 2021 and committing to Memphis.

Bates averaged 9.7 points and 3.3 rebounds in his one season with the Tigers before transferring back home to Eastern Michigan.

ESPN’s Myron Medcalf contributed to this report.



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