Ex-Alabama basketball player Darius Miles indicted by grand jury in capital murder case | Source

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

Former Alabama basketball player Darius Miles has been indicted on a capital murder charge by a Tuscaloosa County grand jury, a source with direct knowledge of the case confirmed to The Tuscaloosa News.

Michael Davis, who is not affiliated with UA, has also been indicted in the same case on a capital murder charge by a grand jury after the shooting death of 23-year-old Jamea Harris on Jan. 15 on the Tuscaloosa Strip.

A true bill has been returned, which indicates the prosecution has shown evidence for probable cause and the defendants, Davis and Miles, have been indicted on the criminal offense with which they have been charged.

Investigators believe the gun belonged to Miles, 21, but believe Davis, 21, pulled the trigger, per court documents. Both have been jailed without bond since Jan. 15.

"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," read a statement from Turner Law, which is representing Miles, "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."

An indictment is "formal notice that it is believed that they committed a crime," per the Offices of the United States Attorneys.

Davis' attorney, John Robbins, said in a statement to The Tuscaloosa News this is the first time he's found out about an indictment from a call from ESPN.

"I am not surprised by the indictment," Robbins said. "We, myself, Michael and his family, were expecting it. I look forward to the opportunity to vigorously defend Michael at trial and to defend his right to protect himself when somebody points a gun at him and shoots him. We still hold Ms. Harris and her family in our prayers. Just because Michael submits that he is not guilty, does not mean that he his callous to the loss of her. He understands the pain the victim family and friends are experiencing, and he sends his prayers and condolences. But, again, I say, 'he is not the bad guy in this situation.'"

DARIUS MILES:What's next for Darius Miles' capital murder case? Explaining the upcoming steps

BRANDON MILLER:Brandon Miller's attorney: Alabama star never touched gun used in fatal shooting

Miles was in his third year with Alabama basketball and played in only six games during the season before his arrest on Jan. 15.

The school announced that day he was no longer a member of the team. The day before, he had been ruled out for the season with an ankle injury before watching the LSU game in street clothes. He hadn't made an appearance in a game since the Dec. 20 matchup vs. Jackson State. Miles averages 6.5 minutes per game this season over that limited time.

What happens next?

Next, the case will be assigned to a circuit court judge.

After that, there will be an arraignment, during which a judge would formally inform the defendants of the charges from the indictment and make sure they understands their rights. The defendants would then have a chance to enter a plea, guilty or not guilty.

Once that happens, an assortment of motions can be filed, Joel Sogol, a Tuscaloosa defense attorney, told The Tuscaloosa News.

Settlement discussions can also occur. If a settlement is not reached, the next step would be a trial.

Brandon Miller has not been charged with a crime

Branden Culpepper of the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit testified in the February preliminary hearing, during which he said Alabama basketball star freshman Brandon Miller had brought the gun to the scene.

Miller has not been charged with a crime, and his attorney said that Miller never touched the gun, was not involved in its exchange and never knew illegal activity involving the gun would occur.

"I never lose sight of the fact that a family lost one of their loved ones that night," Miller said March 8 when speaking publicly on the subject for the first time. "This whole situation is just really heartbreaking. Respectfully, that's all I'm going to be able to say on that."

UA said in a statement in February that Miller is not considered a suspect in this case: "Only a cooperative witness."

Nick Kelly covers Alabama football and men's basketball for The Tuscaloosa News/USA TODAY Network. Reach him via email: Follow him on Twitter: @_NickKelly.