Here’s what you should know ahead of Darius Miles’ latest hearing
By WVUA 23 News Student Reporter Emily Benito
Darius Miles and Michael Davis have their preliminary hearings at 9 a.m. on Feb. 20. Both are charged with capital murder following the shooting death of 23-year-old Jamea Jonae Harris.
Miles and Davis are being held without bond and this hearing could determine if they stay in jail or are released.
These hearings at the Tuscaloosa County Jail are public and admittance into the courtroom will be first-come first-serve.
During a preliminary hearing, a prosecutor must show there is enough evidence to charge the defendant. The prosecution calls on witnesses to produce this evidence and the defense can cross-examine the presented evidence.
“A preliminary hearing is a state court proceeding that allows a defendant to request in Alabama that the court decide whether or not probable cause exists to justify continuing to hold the defendant prior to an indictment,” said University of Alabama Professor of Law Jenny Carroll.
If the judge concludes during this process that there is enough evidence to believe the crime was committed by the defendant, then a trial will be scheduled. If the judge does not believe there is enough evidence, the defendant will be released on bond.
“This is just a hearing that allows the judge to make a determination as to whether or not there is sufficient evidence to justify continuing to hold the defendant,” said Carroll.
According to court documents, investigators said Miles admitted to providing the handgun used in the shooting.
This case has caused some concern for public safety on the Strip and the surrounding areas just off the UA campus, and has led to new police procedures there at night.
Earlier this year, Alabama men’s basketball head coach Nate Oats spoke about the shooting,
“I’ve got three daughters,” Oats said at the time. “It went through my mind how easily it could’ve been one of mine. Tough situation. I’ve talked to Darius’ mother multiple times yesterday. Very hard situation on both accounts. Just continue to pray for Jamea and her family, although I didn’t know them, but they’re certainly in our thoughts and prayers.”
Miles spent three seasons with the Crimson Tide basketball team. He is no longer on the team.