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Michigan's Mazi Smith pleads guilty to misdemeanor weapons charge in plea deal

UConn Michigan Football
Posted at 2:56 PM, Dec 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-08 15:56:01-05

Michigan senior defensive lineman Mazi Smith pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor weapons charge Thursday after entering a plea deal.

Smith, 21, was initially charged with carrying a concealed weapon. Smith was offered a plea deal to a lesser charge: attempted possession of a loaded firearm in or upon a motor vehicle, which is a misdemeanor count punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and one year in jail.

In the plea deal, the felony count is dismissed.

Smith's sentencing is set for December 29 at 1:30 p.m. in 15th District Court.

Police: U-M's Mazi Smith was speeding with Glock 19, multiple rounds of ammo

Smith was carrying a Glock 19 firearm and multiple rounds of ammunition when he was pulled over by Ann Arbor police on October 7, according to court records.

He was estimated to be driving more than twice the speed limit.

The new details were sworn to in court by Ann Arbor Police Detective Jonathan McDonagh, detailed in a court transcript from a November 30 hearing.

According to McDonagh’s testimony, Smith was in the area of King George and Lockridge Drive in Ann Arbor, where the speed limit is 25 miles per hour.

The officers who pulled him over estimated Smith was going as fast as 40 mph, but after reviewing the video, later estimated his speed was north of 50.

When the officer stopped the vehicle, she asked if Smith had a gun. He said that he did.

From there, Smith was secured in handcuffs, and officers found two magazines in his pocket.

According to testimony, Smith said he was putting the gun behind the seat. The officer claims that Smith “wanted to get it off his person.”

Smith’s attorney, John Shea, denies that.

In all, officers recovered Smith’s Glock 19 firearm, a 30-round magazine, a 24-round magazine, and a 15-round magazine.

It is not clear if Smith’s gun itself was loaded; his attorney says it was not.

The firearm was legally registered to Smith, but he did not have the concealed pistol license, or CPL, necessary to have the gun in his vehicle.

His attorney says Smith was in the process of obtaining his CPL when he was pulled over but did not secure it yet. He since has.

Smith was never suspended by coach Jim Harbaugh and played the next day against Indiana in Bloomington. He has played in every Michigan game since, including last Saturday’s Big Ten Championship.

“Mazi was completely honest, upfront, cooperative,” said Coach Jim Harbaugh on Sunday, answering questions for the first time about Smith's arrest. “Felt like he gave us the exact circumstances.”

Even though officers say Smith was driving at more than twice the speed limit, he was not ultimately cited for speeding.

This story was first reported by staff at WXYZ.