What youthful offender status could mean for Michael Davis' capital murder charge

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

Michael Davis, who was arrested and charged with capital murder earlier this year alongside former Alabama basketball player Darius Miles, has filed for youthful offender status, his attorney John Robbins confirmed to The Tuscaloosa News.

Davis was 20 on Jan. 15, the day of the shooting death of Jamea Harris, a 23-year-old from Birmingham.

Anyone in the state of Alabama who is under 21 when charged with a crime has a right to apply for youthful offender status.

If a judge grants Davis youthful offender status, the following could occur:

  • If he pleads guilty or is found guilty, Davis would spend up to three years in "the custody of the Board of Corrections," according to Section 15-19-6 of the Code of Alabama.
  • He also would not be on probation for more than three years and could not be fined in excess of $1,000.
  • If Davis does not plead guilty, he would also be tried in front of a judge, not a jury.

If a judge doesn't grant Davis youthful offender status, he will be subject to the process used for adults. That includes Miles, who was 21 on Jan. 15.

While Davis' youthful offender status is reviewed, the records for him in the case are not available to the public. He will have a hearing July 21, and Tuscaloosa County circuit court judge Daniel Pruet will make a determination after the state completes a background check.

Both Davis and Miles were set to have a bond hearing on May 24. Now Miles will have that hearing alone.

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Miles and Davis have been in jail without bond since Jan. 15. They also were denied bond in a February preliminary hearing by a district court judge.

Investigators believe the gun used to kill Harris belonged to Miles, 21, but believe Davis, now 21, pulled the trigger, per court documents. A grand jury indicted Miles and Davis on capital murder charges in March.

Brandon Miller and Jaden Bradley, two other Alabama basketball players at the time, were at the scene, per investigators, but neither was charged with a crime. Miles was in his third year with the Crimson Tide basketball team. Davis was not affiliated with UA, per Capt. Jack Kennedy of the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit.

In the February hearing, Miles' attorney argued his client provided the gun for protection. Davis' attorney argued his client acted in self-defense.