Memphis' Mikey Williams ordered to stand trial on gun charges

EL CAJON, Calif. -- A Superior Court judge on Tuesday ordered star Memphis recruit Mikey Williams to stand trial on six felony gun charges, which puts his immediate basketball future in doubt.

Judge Sherry M. Thompson-Taylor scheduled Williams' arraignment for Oct. 24. She denied the prosecution's request to increase Williams' bail to $500,000. Williams has been free on a $50,000 bond since his arrest April 13.

Williams is enrolled in online classes at Memphis and remains on the roster but does not have access to team facilities or activities, and his status with the program will be determined when the court case is resolved, the school said late last month.

The Tigers began practice Sept. 25 and open the season Nov. 6 at home against Jackson State.

Williams, who finished his prep career at San Ysidro High School, faces five charges of assault with a weapon and one count of firing into an occupied vehicle. He could be sentenced to up to 28 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

He is accused in a March 27 shooting at his home in unincorporated Jamul in eastern San Diego County. An argument just before midnight ended with gunshots being fired at a car that was leaving the house with five passengers inside it, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said in a news release. Bullets hit the car, but nobody inside was injured, authorities said.

Deputy District Attorney George Modlin said he might add more charges after testimony during Tuesday's preliminary hearing that there were six people in the car and after witnesses said Williams threatened them.

Williams, wearing a black suit, black mock turtleneck and white sneakers, sat with his attorney, Troy P. Owens, during the hearing.

Owens and Williams declined to comment as they left the courthouse Tuesday. Owens has entered pleas of not guilty on Williams' behalf.

Thompson-Taylor said that while no witnesses saw Williams fire a gun, there is probable cause to move the case forward based on testimony that witnesses saw him with a gun and heard him threaten to kill them.

Sheriff's Detective Bradley Farr said the gun described by the witnesses was not found when a search warrant was served at Williams' home on April 13 but that a handgun and other weapons were found.

Following a morning recess, Modlin told Thompson-Taylor he had received reports from someone in the courtroom that members of the public gallery were making hand gestures and facial expressions that could have been attempts at intimidating a witness. He asked her to clear the courtroom if they continued, and she warned the public she would not tolerate such actions.

Williams was one of the name, image and likeness era's earliest stars, securing a multiyear deal with shoe and athletic apparel maker Puma for an undisclosed amount in 2021. He had millions of followers across his social media platforms before apparently deactivating them.