Alabama basketball player Darius Miles is one of two men charged with capital murder after Sunday’s shooting in Tuscaloosa.
The shooting occurred at 2:45 a.m. ET and claimed one victim: Jamea Jonae Harris, a 23-year-old woman from Birmingham.
Miles, 21, was arrested along with 20-year-old Michael Lynn Davis after police spoke to several witnesses and reviewed CCTV of The Strip, the area where the shooting took place.
Miles was seen crying during a crime walk in video captured by AL.com and said the following to someone standing outside the Tuscaloosa County Jail:
“I love you. I love you more than you can imagine.”
Here’s what you should know about Darius Miles and the murder charges he’s facing.
Who is Darius Miles?
Miles was a 21-year-old member of the Alabama basketball team. The junior entered his third season with the program after joining as a three-star recruit and would be a key player off the bench for Nate Oats’ roster in the 2022-23 season.
Miles averaged 5.8 points and 3.3 rebounds per game in 17.2 minutes per game as a sophomore. This was after playing sparingly as a freshman. He was expected to take another step forward during his junior year but has only played six games due to an ankle injury. He averaged 1.5 points and 1.5 rebounds per match.
Miles left the team on December 28 over what Oats saw as a “personal issue.”
“We’re not sure how long he’s going to be out,” Oats said after Alabama’s win over Mississippi State, according to AL.com. “We’re supporting him and trying to help him with that. That’s why he wasn’t on the bench tonight. It’s a personal matter, it’s not an injury and we’re not entirely sure how long he’ll be out.” .”
The personal matter was never resolved, but Miles returned to the Alabama bench for his 106-66 win over LSU on Saturday. He had been suspended for the season earlier that day with his nagging ankle injury.
Miles has since been fired from the team and removed from campus due to the murder allegations against him. His profile on Alabama’s athletics website was apparently removed because trying to visit it returns a 404 error.
Where is Darius Miles from?
Miles is from Washington DC. He attended Theodore Roosevelt High School and played for their basketball team. That earned him a top 200 recruiting rank and offers from Rutgers, Georgetown and Rhode Island. He finally decided to go to Alabama.
Murder allegations against Darius Miles
Miles was charged with murder along with Maryland native Michael Lynn Davis in connection with a shooting on the Strip in Tuscaloosa that left Jamea Jonae Harris dead.
Tuscaloosa Police Captain Jack Kennedy said police were dispatched to Bryant Denny Stadium early Sunday morning when a vehicle approached them. Harris, a passenger in the vehicle, was dead on arrival.
The unnamed driver told police someone shot his vehicle. He returned fire in self-defense and told police he thought he hit one of the suspects.
According to Kennedy, there was no prior relationship between suspects Miles and Davis and Harris or the driver.
“It appears at this point that the shooting was the result of a small argument that took place between the victims and suspects after they met along the strip,” he told AL.com at a news conference.
The police did not explain exactly what the dispute was about. However, Harris’ mother, DeCarla Cotton, appeared to reveal this in a Facebook post:
“Took my baby’s life because she wouldn’t talk to him!!!!” she wrote.
Cotton also told AL.com that Harris was “just trying to enjoy her weekend with her University of Alabama cousin and boyfriend.”
Miles was checked into the Tuscaloosa County Jail at 6:45 p.m. ET. He and Davis must now contend with the capital murder charges they face.
What is Capital Murder?
According to Dixon Law, LLC, capital murder is “by far the most serious violent crime in Alabama.” It is a Class A felony with penalties ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment.
In addition, it means that the death penalty – aka capital punishment – is on the table.
Only 27 states in the US allow the death penalty, but Alabama is one of them. In fact, Alabama is one of only seven states in the country to officially criminalize capital homicide. They are Alabama, Arkansas, California, Kansas, Mississippi, New Hampshire and Texas. Georgia has a similar determination known as “Malicious Murder.”
What is Capital Murder? Dixon Law explains that murder is typically planned and premeditated; However, in Alabama there are other provisions that are eligible for the crime, including but not limited to the following:
- contract killing.
- Murdering a police officer or other state or federal peace officer of any kind.
- Murder Two or more people are murdered by the accused in an act or as part of an act.
- Murder by a defendant convicted of another murder within the past 20 years.
- Murder of a victim under the age of 14.
However, it is highly likely that Miles will be charged with capital murder as Alabama law classifies the following two offenses as capital offenses under Dixon Law.
- Murder committed by or through the use of a deadly weapon while the victim is in a vehicle.
- Murder committed by or through the use of a deadly weapon fired or otherwise employed in or from a vehicle.
Miles faces a long prison sentence if convicted – and possibly worse.