TUSCALOOSA, Alabama – Former Alabama basketball player Darius Miles and another man have been indicted by a grand jury for capital murder in the January death of a 23-year-old woman near campus, defense attorneys confirmed to The Associated Press on Friday.
Miles has been charged with capital murder in the slaying of Jamee Harris, his attorney, Mary Turner, told the AP. Michael Davis, who police investigators said was the triggerman, has also been charged, said his attorney, John Charles Robbins.
Tuscaloosa County District Attorney Hays Webb told AL.com that charges against Miles and Davis, who have been held without bond since their arrests, were issued Wednesday.
Harris was sitting in her car when she was hit by a bullet. A police investigator testified last month that Miles provided the gun Davis allegedly used in the shooting.
During a court hearing last month, Turner suggested Miles was defensive when he told Davis where the gun was.
But prosecutors argued there was enough evidence to file charges in the early Jan. 15 shooting on “The Strip,” a bar and restaurant district near the Tuscaloosa campus. Testimony at a hearing last month indicated there was some sort of verbal altercation before the shooting.
Turner Law Group, which is representing Miles, issued a statement Friday, saying it was disappointed with the decision to file capital murder charges “given the evidence uncovered during our investigation and the glaring weaknesses in the government’s case brought to light during the preliminary hearing.”
Davis maintains his innocence, said Robbins, his attorney. I look forward to the opportunity to vigorously defend Michael at trial and defend his right to protect himself when someone points a gun at him and shoots him, Robbins said.
Miles was a backup on the Crimson Tide, but an ankle injury sidelined him for the rest of the season. After he was charged in January, Alabama said he had been “removed from campus” and the team.
During a court hearing in February, Tuscaloosa police investigator Brandon Culpepper testified that Miles texted Tide basketball star Brandon Miller, a freshman, to bring him a gun. Police said another player, guard Jaden Bradley, was also at the scene.
Neither Miller nor Bradley have been charged with anything.
“This whole situation is really heartbreaking, but with all due respect that’s all I’m going to be able to say about it,” Miller told reporters Wednesday in his first public comment on the case.
Both Miller and Bradley continued to play as the nation’s fourth-ranked team makes its way through the Southeastern Conference tournament before the NCAA tournament. Miller scored 18 points and had nine rebounds in Friday’s SEC quarterfinal win against Mississippi State.
In the postgame press conference, Miller was asked what he thought of the indictment. He said, “I can’t—I won’t be able to tell about it.”
Coach Nate Oats was asked if there was a gun policy for his team, and he said “our players have to follow the university’s gun policy, which basically prohibits it on campus.”
He was also asked who was involved in deciding whether Miller and Bradley could continue to play.
“It was a difficult situation, as you understand. I mean, we’re dealing with a criminal matter,” Oats said, adding that the school has received “facts from law enforcement as they conduct their investigation,” “this was a decision made based on all the facts that we had, with , obviously, my boss, (director of athletics) Greg Byrne; his boss, (President) Dr. (Stuart) Bell; and the Board of Directors.
“And everyone was comfortable, and based on the information we had, Brandon didn’t violate any school rules or team rules, so … I was happy with the decision that was made.”
Harris’ mother told reporters last month that she was frustrated by the focus on basketball instead of her daughter’s death. She said her daughter was a beautiful person who was trying to spend the night with friends when she was killed.
“She has a five-year-old son who is still waiting for his mother to come home,” DeCarla Heard told reporters. “I want justice for my grandson.”
Oats was asked Friday if he had spoken to Harris’ family.
“Look, obviously, as you know, this whole situation is difficult to deal with, it’s tragic to have anything to do with a young woman who lost her life. What you are asking is a private matter. I will not publicly argue with everyone,” he said. “A lot of it is just hard to deal with, to be honest. But that’s a private matter.”
Former Alabama player Miles charged with capital murder originally appeared on NBCSports.com