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Alabama Forward Charged with Murder

Sports

Darius Miles | Image by Tuscaloosa County Sheriff

A basketball player from the University of Alabama has been charged with capital murder after a shooting near campus killed 23-year-old Jamea Harris.

The accused, Darius Miles, 21, is a junior and plays forward.

The shooting occurred early Sunday morning off University Boulevard near the Alabama campus.

According to police, they were made aware of the incident when the driver of the vehicle in which Harris was a passenger approached them near Bryant-Denny Stadium around 1:45 a.m. ET. The unnamed driver told them that another car had shot at his vehicle, striking and killing the victim. He further explained that he had returned fire in self-defense and may have shot a suspect.

Investigators arrived on the scene and, after reviewing nearby video surveillance footage and speaking with witnesses, Miles and another man — Michael Lynn Davis, 20 — were identified as suspects. One of the men was reportedly injured by the returning gunfire, as had been suggested by the driver of the other vehicle.

“At this time, it appears that the only motive was a minor altercation that these individuals had with the victim as they were out on The Strip,” Tuscaloosa police Captain Jack Kennedy said in a news conference on Sunday.

Miles and Davis were charged with capital murder because the incident involved gunshots directed at a vehicle, according to Kennedy.

Both were booked in Tuscaloosa County jail at 6:45 p.m. ET on Sunday with no amount set for bail.

The university and its athletic department both released statements shortly after that.

“The University of Alabama’s utmost priority is the safety and well-being of the campus community. We are grieved by the incident that occurred near campus last night and extend our deepest condolences to the victim’s family and friends,” the statement read from the university.

“We are grateful for the quick and thorough response of law enforcement and emergency response teams, and we will continue to fully support the ongoing investigation,” the statement continued. “We were made aware of the recent charge against student-athlete Darius Miles; he has been removed from campus and is no longer a member of the Alabama men’s basketball team.”

“First and foremost, we extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the victim from last night’s incident.,” the athletic department said.

“We were made aware of the recent charge against student-athlete Darius Miles, and he is no longer a member of the Alabama men’s basketball team. Athletics, in conjunction with the University, is fully cooperating with this investigation,” the release continued.

Miles’ team of lawyers has also released a statement on his behalf.

“Darius Miles and his family are heartbroken tonight over the death of Jamea Jonae Harris. While Darius has been accused of being involved with this tragedy, he maintains his innocence and looks forward to his day in court. Our firm’s investigation is ongoing, and no further statement will be made now.”

The incident occurred just hours after the junior had been ruled out for the season with an ankle injury. He played 53 games for the Crimson Tide and averaged 4.2 points per game and 2.3 rebounds per game after joining the team as a four-star prospect in 2020.

Murders, especially those driven by arguments and confrontations, have also become a significant issue in Dallas this past year, and local leaders have not done enough to curb the swell.

In December, City Councilmember Jaynie Schultz’s District 11 saw the highest number of reported violent crimes in Dallas, jumping by 18.16% compared to the same month last year.

No. 4 Alabama (15-2) continues its season on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. ET against Vanderbilt University (9-8).

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