Defense lawyers seeks bond for basketball player

FILE - Alabama forward Darius Miles looks to pass in the second half an NCAA college basketball game against LSU in Baton Rouge, La., March 5, 2022. Miles is one of two suspects charged with capital murder in a predawn deadly shooting on the Strip in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File) (Gerald Herbert, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Defense lawyers are asking for a University of Alabama basketball player charged with capital murder to be released on bond, arguing he is not a threat to the community and there is scant evidence against him.

Darius Miles' attorney on Thursday asked a judge to set a bond hearing. The 21-year-old former junior reserve forward for the fourth-ranked Crimson Tide is accused of providing the gun in a fatal shooting that killed a young woman near the University of Alabama campus. Miles has been dismissed from the team.

University spokesman Shane Dorrill said he also “has been suspended and removed from campus pending the outcome of a student conduct case related to this serious matter.” Miles is currently being held without bond at the Tuscaloosa County Jail.

Defense lawyer Mary Turner wrote in the request that Miles is not a flight risk and has no prior criminal history. She also asserted that the prosecution would be unable to produce enough evidence at the bail hearing for a jury to sustain a capital conviction against Miles. She argued one standard regarding bail is to deny bail if prosecutors show evidence that could sustain a conviction and “to allow bail if the evidence is not so efficacious.”

Prosecutors have not responded to the request for a bond hearing.

Alabama coach Nate Oats said Friday there were no character red-flags during the recruitment process of Miles or while he was on the team.

“There was zero off-the-floor character issues when we recruited him,” Oats said. "And to be honest with you, even when he was here, we had no real issues with him off the floor. He’s a likable kid that everybody liked.

“The only issues we ever had was just trying to get motivated and play a little harder in practice, be more consistent. Just basketball stuff. Nobody saw this coming. He comes from a really good family.”

Oats said Miles' father is retired military and his mother is a police officer in the Washington, D.C., area.

“We recruited Darius during COVID when you couldn’t go visit him, so it was all done via Zooms and phone calls,” the Tide coach said. “I love the kid. He was super easy to talk to. He still is. He’s one of my favorite kids I’ve coached.”

Miles and Michael Lynn Davis, 20, are charged with capital murder in the shooting death of 23-year-old Jamea Harris. The shooting occurred early Sunday morning on the Strip, a student-oriented business district of bars and restaurants near the Tuscaloosa campus. Harris was sitting in the passenger seat of a car when she was struck by a bullet, police said.

Investigators wrote in a court document that Miles admitted to providing the gun used in the fatal shooting, but Davis fired the weapon.

Miles will appear before a judge for a preliminary hearing on Feb. 7 at the Tuscaloosa County Jail, according to a court document.