Attorney: Brandon Miller not involved in shooting, but was present
By WVUA 23 News Student Reporters Savannah Denton and Caleb Aguayo
Testimony in the preliminary hearings for former University of Alabama basketball player Darius Miles and Michael Davis revealed another University of Alabama basketball player was there the night of a deadly shooting that killed a young mother.
Freshman star player Brandon Miller delivered the gun which was used in the fatal shooting of Jamea Harris, investigators said during the hearing. Harris was a passenger in one of the cars involved in the Jan. 15 shooting on the Strip near the University of Alabama campus.
Miller’s attorney Jim Standridge released a statement saying Miller was unaware of many of the events and circumstances which unfolded that night.
According to a statement released by Standridge, Miller had driven Miles and Davis to a night club on the Strip before dropping them off and going elsewhere to eat at a restaurant.
A portion of the statement reads:
“Mr. Miles brought his legal handgun and left it in the back seat of Brandon’s vehicle. Brandon never saw the handgun nor handled it. Further, it is our understanding that the weapon was concealed under some clothing in the back seat of his car.”
“Brandon never touched the gun, was not involved in its exchange to Mr. Davis in any way, and never knew that illegal activity involving the gun would occur.”
Investigators said Miles contacted Miller via text and asked him to bring his gun to Gray Street. According to his lawyer’s statement, Miller was already on the way to pick up Miles and Davis when Miles made that text.
While testimony shows he brought the gun to the scene of the crime, Tuscaloosa Chief Deputy District Attorney Paula Whitley said he’s not facing any charges because there’s no evidence that Miller knew the gun was going to be used for nefarious purposes.
Tuscaloosa criminal defense attorney Joel Sogol, who is not involved in this case, said intent is the key.
“Intent is often and almost always is a question and a matter of proof,” Sogol said. “And you look at the evidence. What did the person do? What did he say? What kind of conduct is there? Then you have to be able to evaluate all that and determine that he must have known, or he did know or he didn’t know.”
Because Miller had no way of knowing what was happening, charging him for a crime doesn’t make sense, Sogol said.
There are mixed reactions from many Alabama fans about Miller’s involvement. Callers on JOX 94.5 FM shared their opinions regarding the news.
One caller said he thinks some team members should face consequences:
“I am just saddened that this has happened to the program, but there needs to be consequences coming out of this for Nate Oats and for Brandon Miller for putting himself in that situation. What are you doing at 1:45 in the morning? You are one of the best basketball players in the country,” said one caller.
Another caller said there is no reason for any further action.
“To suspend Brandon Miller or to do anything else is not the time to do that. It has to be done in the court of law, not the court of public opinion,” the caller said.
UA Athletics released the following statement regarding Miller on Tuesday:
“UA Athletics continues to cooperate fully with law enforcement in the on-going investigation of this tragic situation. Based on all the information we have received, Brandon Miller is not considered a suspect in this case, only a cooperative witness. Today’s statement from Brandon’s lawyer adds additional context that the University has considered as part of its review of the facts. Based on all of the facts we have gathered, Brandon remains an active member of our team.”
- Statement issued by Brandon Miller’s attorney: Feb. 22, 2023
- Miles, Davis denied bond in Jan. 15 shooting case: Feb. 21, 2023
- Here’s what you should know ahead of Darius Miles’ latest hearing: Feb. 21, 2023
- Capital murder: What that means when you’re charged in Alabama: Jan. 18, 2023
- UA coach Nate Oats responds to Darus Miles’ arrest for murder: Jan. 16, 2023
- Darius Miles maintains innocence in murder charge: Jan. 16, 2023
- UA basketball player among two men charged with murder in deadly shooting on the Strip: Jan. 15, 2023
- Shooting on the Strip near University of Alabama: Jan. 15, 2023