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Ex-Alabama player Miles charged with capital murder


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) – Former Alabama basketball player Darius Miles has been charged with murder by a grand jury for the shooting death of a 23-year-old woman near campus in January, his attorney confirmed to The Associated Press on Friday.

Michael Davis, who is also charged with the shooting of Jamea Harris, has also been charged, defense attorney Mary Turner told the AP. Turner only represents Miles.

Tuscaloosa District Attorney Hays Webb told that the charges against Miles and Davis, who have been held without bail since their arrest, were issued on Wednesday.

Harris was in a car when she was hit by a bullet. A police investigator testified last month that Miles provided the pistol Davis allegedly used in the shooting.

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During a court hearing last month, Turner indicated that Miles was in a defensive posture when he told Davis where the gun was.

However, prosecutors claimed there was enough evidence to press charges in the shooting, which took place early Jan. 15 on “The Strip,” a neighborhood of bars and restaurants near the Tuscaloosa campus. Testimony at last month’s hearing indicated some sort of verbal altercation before the shooting.

The Turner Law Group, which represents Miles, issued a statement on Friday saying they were disappointed by the decision to pursue capital murder charges “given the evidence uncovered during our investigation and the apparent weaknesses in the government’s case.” that were brought to light during the preliminary hearing.”

Miles was a reserve player with the Crimson Tide, but an ankle injury kept him out for the remainder of the season. After he was charged in January, Alabama said he was “removed from campus” and the team.

During the February court hearing, Tuscaloosa Police Officer Brandon Culpepper testified that Miles texted Tide freshman basketball star Brandon Miller to get him his gun. Police said another player, security guard Jaden Bradley, was also at the scene.

Neither Miller nor Bradley have been charged with anything.

“This whole situation is really heartbreaking, but respectful, that’s all I can say,” Miller told reporters Wednesday in his first public comments on the case.

Both Miller and Bradley have continued to play as the nation’s No. 4 team makes its way through the Southeastern Conference Tournament ahead of the NCAA tournament. Miller scored 18 points and had nine rebounds in Friday’s SEC quarterfinal win over Mississippi State.

In the post-game press conference, Miller was asked about his thoughts on the charge. He said, “I can’t — I won’t be able to say anything about that.”

Coach Nate Oats was asked if he had a gun policy for his team and said that “our players must follow the university’s gun policy, which essentially prohibits them on campus.”

He was also asked who was involved in deciding whether Miller and Bradley could continue playing.

“It was a difficult situation, as you understand. I mean we’re dealing with a criminal matter,” Oats said, adding that the school “obtained facts from law enforcement during their investigation, this was a decision made based on all the facts we had , of course, my boss (sporting director) Greg Byrne; his boss, (President) Dr. (Stuart) Bell; and the board of trustees.

“And everyone was comfortable, and based on the information we had, Brandon didn’t break any school or team policies, so … I was happy with the decision that was made.”

Harris’ mother told reporters last month that she was frustrated that she was focusing on basketball instead of her daughter’s death. She said her daughter was a beautiful person who was trying to spend a night with friends when she was killed.

“She has a 5-year-old son who’s still waiting for his mom to come home,” DeCarla Heard told reporters. “I want justice for my grandson.”

Oats was asked Friday if he had spoken to Harris’ family.

“Listen, this whole situation was obviously, as you know, difficult to deal with, tragic to be involved in the loss of a young woman’s life. What you ask is a private matter. I will not discuss with everyone publicly,” he said. “A lot of it is just hard to deal with, to be honest. But that is a private matter.”

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