Gophers forward Mbakwe avoids jail time for probation violation
Miami, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Minnesota star forward Trevor Mbakwe has escaped jail time for probation violation stemming from his DUI conviction last September, enabling him to continue his college career with the Golden Gophers.
Judge Jose Fernandez has extended Mbakwe’s probation by two years and ordered him to perform 20 hours of community service, aside from attending AA meetings three times a week, according to Ed Griffith, spokesperson for the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office.
Fernandez ordered a probation violation hearing after Mbakwe pled guilty to a driving under the influence charge stemming from an incident in Minnetonka, Minnesota in July.
During the hearing, Mbakwe also reached a civil settlement with the woman at the center of a felony assault case in 2009 that started his legal troubles.
“The victim’s civil attorney was present and he and the criminal defense attorney knocked out a confidential civil settlement prior to the hearing. They refused to let any prosecutor or the criminal court know what the terms of that agreement actually were,” Griffith said.
Mbakwe said he’s happy to put all his legal troubles behind so he can focus on his playing career with the Golden Gophers.
“I’ve been thinking about this since July 1,” Mbakwe told the Star-Tribune. “It’s been stressing me and my family out and I’m glad it’s over. I’m just going to stay on the right track now; no more slip-ups. The judge gave me another chance and I’m grateful for that. … I’m just going to show everybody they were right in supporting me.”
Mbakwe’s legal troubles started when he was charged with felony assault during junior college in Florida for allegedly punching a woman and breaking bones in her face in 2009.
In 2011, he was arrested for harassment when he allegedly posted a Facebook message to a St. Paul woman’s page in violation of a restraining order she previously obtained.
The 6-8 Mbakwe, projected to be an NBA first-round pick, averaged 14.0 points and 9.1 rebounds last season before going down with a season-ending knee injury.