Alabama basketball player Darius Miles charged with capital murder

Alabama forward Darius Miles, and another man, have been charged with capital murder after a shooting on the strip in Tuscaloosa early Sunday morning, killing 23-year-old Jamea Jonae Harris.

Police reported a call in the Walk of Champions area at Bryant-Denny Stadium early Sunday morning, but later determined the shooting occurred in the 400 block of Grace Street, just off the Strip off University Boulevard. Miles and another man were both in a car when one of the men pulled the trigger and shot and killed the victim, who was in the passenger seat of another car. At this time, University of Alabama policemen do not know which one of the young men pulled the trigger, but both men were charged with capital murder. A “minor argument” is what appeared to be the cause of the shooting. Campus police arrived on the scene at about 1:45 a.m. on Sunday morning, and Miles was booked into Tuscaloosa County Jail around 6:45 p.m. on Sunday. At this time it appears that Miles was the only person involved in the crime scene that is affiliated with the University.

Many videos are swirling around social media of Darius Miles getting escorted out of the Tuscaloosa police station. Miles appeared to be crying and repeating over and over, “I loved you more than you can imagine.” The is also a video recording from a ring door camera around the area of the shooting, and you can clearly see a car drive by and then hear multiple gunshots just seconds later.

It is important to note that Darius Miles, and another man involved in the shooting, were both charged with capital murder instead of murder. This is important because capital murder is, by far, the most serious of violent crimes in Alabama. Capital Murder is a Class A felony, carrying with it a potential ten years to life sentence, or even a possible penalty of death. Typically speaking, a defendant or individual charged or suspected of capital murder involves allegations where that individual planned and possessed premeditation to commit murder.  However, there are a number of capital offenses other than premeditated murder.

The University of Alabama announced in a statement on Sunday that Darius Miles is no longer a member of the Crimson Tide basketball team.

The statement on Sunday said, “First and foremost, we extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the victim from last night’s incident. We were made aware of the recent charge against student-athlete Darius Miles, and he is no longer a member of the Alabama men’s basketball team. Athletics, in conjunction with the University, is fully cooperating with this investigation.”

Darius Miles was ruled out for the season before the game on Saturday, due to an ankle injury. He only saw time in six games this season and has been dealing with an ankle injury since the summer. I think it is important to point out that Miles also missed some time for what head coach Nate Oats called “personal reasons,” after the Mississippi State game in late December.

What does this mean for the Alabama Crimson Tide basketball team? How will the team respond after this event? Miles was good friend and teammate with these young men. This young man has spent countless hours with his teammates on and off the court. How will this affect the chemistry of the team? Will this be a momentum killer to what is a red-hot Alabama team right now? I am very eager to see how the Crimson Tide responds to this terrible tragedy. Alabama’s next game is Tuesday when the No. 4 Crimson Tide travel to Nashville to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores. The Crimson Tide do not play at home again until January 15, when the Tide host the Mississippi State Bulldogs.