Darius Miles denied bond again during Wednesday hearing


Former Alabama basketball player Darius Miles (#2) during a game against Memphis on Dec 13 in Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (CW File)

Jacob Ritondo, Assistant News Editor

Former UA basketball player Darius Miles was again denied bond during a hearing Wednesday morning in the Sixth Circuit Court of Alabama, over which Judge Daniel Pruet presided. 

Investigators previously said the Jan. 15 shooting on Grace Street on the Strip occurred after Miles provided his friend, Michael Davis, with the gun used to shoot Jamea Harris, a mother from Birmingham.  The shooting followed what investigators called in a previous hearing a “heated” exchange between the two men, Harris, her boyfriend, Cedric Johnson, and her cousin, Asia Humphrey, though the defense made reference Wednesday to several other people being present at or before the time of the shooting. 

Harris was sitting in the passenger seat of her boyfriend’s Jeep when she was shot.  

Although Johnson was subpoenaed and present at the hearing, he did not testify. 

Mary Turner, one of Miles’ attorneys, expanded on her statements in previous hearings that her client provided Davis with the gun for protection against Johnson, describing Johnson several times as a “hawk circling its prey.”  

According to Turner, one of Johnson’s friends, identified by a witness as “Jack,” had a shotgun in his red Chevrolet Impala that he gave to an animated Johnson. Afterwards, Johnson approached the scene of the shooting with his Jeep’s headlights turned off. 

As in previous hearings, Turner maintained that her client saw Harris pass a gun to Johnson. At this time, it is unclear if what Miles saw was actually a gun. 

Arguing for the character of her client, Turner displayed and summarized quotes from Miles’s family members, friends, pastor and head UA basketball coach Nate Oats that she argued spoke to his selflessness, positivity and other traits. 

Among those watching the trial was a teenage boy who, along with his family, had befriended Miles at a summer camp that Miles helped run. The boy and his father now visit him in jail every Sunday, Turner said. 

“Darius is one of the best people you could meet,” the boy wrote of him. 

Turner also argued that Miles was not a flight risk and that his family, which has several members in law enforcement, respects the law and would ensure he does the same. 

The state countered that Harris equally meant a lot to a lot of people, being a mother, daughter, and girlfriend, and that her son was left without a mother after her death.  

Speaking directly to Miles, Pruet said to Miles there was “a lot in favor” of Miles’ case, more than is typical for a capital murder trial; however, acknowledging the nature of the charges and the need for more information in a case he said is “in its infancy,” he denied bond.  

Several of Miles’ family members wept after hearing the decision. 

Before being indicted on capital murder charges by a grand jury on March 10, which formally began the trial process, Miles and Davis were denied bond during their Feb. 21 preliminary hearing. If found guilty in trial for capital murder, he may face life in prison without the possibility of parole, or the death penalty. 

A second motion was then filed by Miles’ attorneys on the grounds that more evidence was uncovered that strengthened their case. 

The hearing comes days after John C. Robbins, Davis’ attorney, motioned for his 20-year-old client to receive youthful offender status. Youthful offenders waive their right to a jury and instead stand trial before a judge. If granted this status for the trial and found guilty, Davis could potentially receive a maximum sentence of three years in prison. The judge temporarily granted pending a final decision later this summer.  

While Davis possesses youthful offender status, details about his case will be kept confidential.