Former Alabama basketball player Darius Miles and his friend Michael Lynn Davis have been indicted on capital murder charges by a Tuscaloosa County grand jury on Friday, Chief Assistant District Attorney Paula Whitley told ESPN.
Davis and Miles were arrested Jan. 15 and eventually charged with the capital murder of Jamea Jonae Harris. Miles was removed from the men’s basketball team Jan. 15.
Davis is alleged to have shot Harris while she was in a vehicle, which leads to a capital murder charge in Alabama. Miles acknowledged providing Davis the gun in the case and is charged with capital murder for “aiding and abetting” him in the shooting, according to Miles’ deposition and charge sheet.
The Miles and Davis cases were sent to the grand jury following a Feb. 21 preliminary hearing, where neither were given bond.
“We are not surprised with the indictment,” Davis’ attorney, John Robbins, told ESPN’s Elizabeth Merrill. “We were expecting it all along. We’re happy that the state moved quickly on this matter so we can get into court and get this case tried as quickly as we can before a jury. We are going to vigorously defend this case and defend my client’s right to protect himself when someone points a gun at him and shoots him.”
Miles’ attorney, Mary Turner, released a statement calling into question the case being deemed as capital murder.
“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,” Turner said in a statement.
Davis and Miles remain in Tuscaloosa County Jail. The two are expected to have separate trials.
According to court testimony, Miles and Davis were both at the Twelve25 bar on The Strip in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on Jan. 14, as were Harris, her cousin Asia Humphrey and Harris’ boyfriend, Cedric Johnson. As Davis, Miles and Alabama basketball player Jaden Bradley were leaving the bar, Davis started dancing next to Harris’ Jeep.
A brief verbal altercation between Davis and Johnson ensued. Miles came back to remove Davis from the situation. Miles told investigators he saw a gun being passed from the front seat to the back seat while he went to remove Davis. Johnson told investigators they were passing food back.
Following the altercation, Miles texted Alabama freshman basketball star Brandon Miller to bring him his gun. It’s unclear whether Miller, who arrived at 1:43 a.m., saw the text.
A minute later, Harris’ Jeep — driven by Johnson — pulled behind the cars of Bradley and Miller with its lights off. Davis and Miles then went into the back seat of Miller’s car — Miles on the right, Davis on the left — and searched for Miles’ gun.
According to police testimony, either Miles or Davis told the other, “The heat is in the hat,” referring to a handgun. The other responded, “Is there one in the head?” asking if it was loaded, which it was affirmed to be.
At 1:45 a.m., Davis walked to the driver’s side of Harris’ Jeep and gunfire began. Police testified Feb. 21 that Davis fired first into the Jeep and Johnson then returned fire. In an interview with ESPN and during the Feb. 21 hearing, a defense attorney raised questions about whether Davis or Johnson fired first. Robbins told ESPN his side would pursue a “defense of justification.”
Davis ran across the street firing into the Jeep and into Miller’s windshield, according to video viewed by ESPN. Police testified that one of the shots fired by Davis killed Harris in the passenger seat of her vehicle.
Miller’s attorney, Jim Standridge, said in a statement that his client was already on his way to pick up Miles when the text message was sent and that Miller was unaware Miles’ gun was in his backseat because it was concealed by clothing. Miller has not been charged with a crime and Whitley told AL.com there was nothing he could be charged with.
Miller has cooperated fully with the investigation, according to his attorney and the police.
Darius Miles, Michael Davis indicted on capital murder charges