Ex-Alabama basketball player Darius Miles pleads not guilty to capital murder
Former Alabama basketball player Darius Miles pleaded not guilty on Monday to a capital murder charge, court documents state.
Per the documents obtained by the Tuscaloosa News, Miles also waived his right to be present or have an attorney present at a pre-trial arraignment. He has received a formal written copy of the charge, according to the report.
Miles and his friend Michael Davis were indicted on capital murder charges by a Tuscaloosa grand jury on March 10 in the Jan. 15 shooting death of 23-year-old Jamea Harris at a nightlife district near the University of Alabama campus. Court documents state that Miles provided the gun in the fatal shooting and that Davis pulled the trigger.
"Darius Miles admitted to providing Michael Davis with the handgun immediately prior to the shooting," a court document citing a police affidavit states.
Per court testimony, the shooting was an escalation of an altercation between Davis and Harris' boyfriend, Cedric Johnson, outside a bar. Miles told police that he saw a gun being passed in Harris' car when he removed Davis from the situation. He then texted Alabama star Brandon Miller, asking Miller to bring him his gun, according to testimony.
It's not clear if Miller saw the text, but Miller arrived around 1:43 a.m, according to court documents. Miles and Davis retrieved Miles' gun from the backseat of Miller's car, according to police testimony. According to police, Davis and Johnson exchanged gunfire after Davis approached the passenger side of Harris' jeep with Johnson inside. Police state that Davis fired first and Johnson returned fire. Defense attorneys at a February hearing raised questions about who fired first, according to ESPN.
Harris was killed in the shooting. Davis and Miles were arrested on Jan. 15 and charged with capital murder, and Alabama dismissed Miles from the team. The "capital" designation is related to the victim being killed while in a vehicle, according to documents. The charge carries the possibility of the death sentence in Alabama.
Turner Law represents Davis and released a statement challenging the capital murder charge.
"While we are not surprised by the indictment based on the reality that a person accused of a crime is not allowed to present any evidence to the Grand Jury, we are nonetheless disappointed that the Government presented this case to the Grand Jury as Capital Murder considering the evidence uncovered during our investigation and the obvious weaknesses in the Government’s case brought to light during the preliminary hearing," the statement reads, per the News.
Miller does not face charges and continued to play for Alabama, which entered the NCAA tournament as the No. 1 overall seed. The Crimson Tide lost in the Sweet 16, and Miller has since declared for the NBA draft, where he's expected to be a top-3 pick.
Davis and Miles remain detained without bond. Miles has another bond hearing scheduled for May 24.