Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Michigan State suspends 2 football players indefinitely after September arrests

October 19, 2020
<p>Spartan Stadium has converted into a COVID-19 testing facility to allow students living on or near campus to get tested. The entrance to the testing center is located at Gate B. Shot on Sept. 23, 2020.</p>

Spartan Stadium has converted into a COVID-19 testing facility to allow students living on or near campus to get tested. The entrance to the testing center is located at Gate B. Shot on Sept. 23, 2020.

Photo by Lauren DeMay | The State News

Editor's note: This story was updated to include new information on the location of the arrests. 

In September, the MSU football program suspended two players indefinitely, a spokesperson from Michigan State Athletics confirmed to The State News on Monday.

Linebackers Luke Fulton and Charles Willekes, were suspended in September following the pair’s arrests on Sept. 8 at a fraternity off the campus of MSU. The two remain suspended from the program indefinitely. 

Fulton, 20, who is a redshirt-freshman from Youngstown, Ohio, was arrested on Sept. 8. Fulton was arraigned and initially charged with aggravated assault at the 54-B district court on Sept. 9.

ELPD Deputy Chief Steve Gonzalez confirmed Willekes', 21, arrest on Monday in an email to The State News. 

ELPD arrest logs from Sept. 7 to Sept. 14 report a pair of suspects that were arrested for aggravated assault that included forced entry into a residence at 301 Charles Street in East Lansing, the location of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. 

Gonzalez confirmed later Monday that the suspects, incident and location of both reported arrests were that of Willekes and Fulton.

On Oct. 2, according to court records, Fulton pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of assault and battery as a part of a plea, the court records show.

By taking the plea under to the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA), Fulton avoids immediately jail time and is scheduled for his sentencing hearing on Oct. 28, Fulton's attorney Mike Nichols confirmed to The State News.

The HYTA allows those who complete the conditions of their sentencing to have the records sealed. In Michigan, offenders younger than 24 who have pleaded to some criminal offenses can have their court records closed to public view under HYTA. 

“I wanted to make sure there was nothing misleading about this,” Nichols said. “This is a standard resolution that is not uncommon whatsoever."

MLive, who first reported the suspensions, reported that the reason for Willekes' arrest is not public.

Willekes is the younger brother of now NFL linebacker Kenny Willekes, who was an All-American selection at MSU during his career. It was not immediately clear why Willekes was suspended from the program.

“Luke Fulton and Charles Willekes were suspended from all team activities immediately, and remain suspended from the program indefinitely,” MSU football spokesperson Ben Phlegar said in an email to The State News.

Fulton is a 6-foot-4 inside linebacker that was listed as a 3-star recruit in the class of 2019, according to 24/7’s Composite Rankings. Charles Willekes, a walk-on to the team, played both running back and linebacker at North Pointe Christian High School.

The State News has filed a FOIA request for the police and arrest records from Sept. 8. At the time of publishing the request hasn't received a response.

Both arrests came just over a week before the Big Ten football season was brought back on Sept. 16. Both athletes, an MSU spokesman confirmed, haven’t been with the program since before the return of the season.

This is a developing story, stay with The State News for updates.

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