Police: Alabama star Brandon Miller brought gun to Darius Miles in fatal shooting


Brandon Miller, a freshman standout on Alabama’s second-ranked men’s basketball team, was charged in court Tuesday in connection with the fatal shooting of a woman last month in downtown Tuscaloosa.

A detective with the Tuscaloosa Police Department testified, according to several local reports, that Miller brought a gun to then-teammate Darius Miles. Miles gave the gun to a friend, Michael Lynn Davis, who is not affiliated with the university. Police have alleged that Davis fired into a vehicle, killing 23-year-old Jamea Harris.

Miles and Davis are charged with murder. A 21-year-old junior forward who watched from the bench during a game earlier in the night on Jan. 14, Miles was quickly dismissed from the Crimson Tide program.

Alabama coach Nate Oats said Tuesday that Miller is “not in any kind of trouble.” He later added that authorities have told his program that Miller and other Tide players who may be at the scene are considered witnesses and not suspects in the case.

Alabama’s Darius Miles provided weapons but was not the shooter in the murder case, it is claimed

The courtroom testimony came during a bond hearing for Miles and Davis, who were said (via Tuscaloosa station WTUG) to have started arguing with Harris’ girlfriend in the middle of a party scene in the early morning hours of Jan. 15. The. Branden Culpepper reportedly told the court that Miles sent a text message to Miller asking the latter to bring a gun belonging to Miles (via tuscaloosanews.com).

After Miller arrived in his car, according to Culpepper’s testimony, Miles and Davis got into the back seat. Miles then allegedly said of the gun, “There’s one in the head,” meaning a round was loaded in the chamber.

Culpepper did not immediately respond to a request for comment. His testimony marked the first time another Alabama player has been officially linked to the fatal incident. Investigators also reportedly placed another member of the team, rookie guard Jaden Bradley, at the scene.

Miller, a 6-foot-9 forward from Tennessee, is averaging a team-high 18.7 points, which also leads the SEC. Some analysts see him as a potential top-five pick in this year’s NBA draft, should he choose to turn professional.

At a news conference Tuesday, Oats told reporters that he and others with the program are “familiar with the situation” involving the investigation into the shooting.

“We have cooperated fully with law enforcement throughout,” he said. – The whole situation is sad.

“Can’t control everything everybody does outside of practice,” added Oats, who is in his fourth season at Alabama. – Nobody knew it was going to happen. … Brandon hasn’t been in any kind of trouble, and he’s not in any kind of trouble in this case. Wrong place at the wrong time.”

Several hours later, Oats issued a statement describing his earlier comments as “unfortunate.”

“I in no way intended to downplay the seriousness of this situation or the tragedy that night,” he so. “My prayers continue to go out to the James Harris family.”

Oats said his program had been “informed by law enforcement that other student-athletes were nearby, and police have repeatedly told us that no other student-athletes were suspects — they were just witnesses.”

“Our understanding,” he added, “is that they have all been completely truthful and cooperative.”

Miller was rated a five-star prospect after earning national honors and Tennessee Player of the Year honors in high school and became one of the most heralded recruits Alabama had ever landed. He recently helped the Crimson Tide reach the top spot in the Associated Press poll for just the second time.

Miles, who played high school basketball in Washington and Maryland before finishing at Florida’s IMG Academy, had seen little action this season. He was sidelined with an injury when the shooting happened. In addition to being kicked off the team, Miles was “removed from campus,” according to a University of Alabama official.

Lawyers representing Miles said last month that he “maintains his innocence”. He has been held without bond in the Tuscaloosa County Jail, where he and Davis will remain until further notice, a judge reportedly ruled Tuesday.

Davis was said by police to have been injured in the shooting when Harris’ boyfriend fired a gun. An attorney for Davis said in court Tuesday (via WTUG ) that his client fired back in self-defense after his girlfriend opened fire first.

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