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Darius Miles: University of Alabama basketball player charged with murder in the killing of a 23-year-old woman



University of Alabama basketball player Darius Miles has been arrested and charged with murder in connection with a shooting near the campus Sunday which left a 23-year-old woman dead, Tuscaloosa law enforcement announced.

“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,” the University of Alabama athletics department said in a statement Sunday.

Michael Lynn Davis, 20, has also been charged in the shooting, the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit said in a release. Both suspects are charged with capital murder and are being held without bond, it said.

Investigators said Miles is the only person involved who is connected to the University of Alabama.

CNN has been unable to determine if the suspects have attorneys.

Police responded to the shooting around 1:45 a.m. local time Sunday and found that Jamea Jonae Harris had been shot and killed while sitting in a car less than half a mile from the university’s campus, according to a release from the violent crimes unit.

The driver of the car told police that someone had shot into his vehicle and said he returned fire in self defense, possibly striking one of the suspects, investigators said.

“After processing the scenes, speaking with multiple witnesses, and viewing video surveillance, two suspects were developed,” the release said.

One of the suspects had been hit by the returning gunfire and had a non-life-threatening wound, investigators said,

“It appears that the only motive to this was a minor altercation that these individuals had with the victim as they were out on The Strip,” said unit captain Jack Kennedy. The Strip is a hub of restaurants and businesses near the university campus.

Harris, who lived in Birmingham, was in Tuscaloosa with her boyfriend to visit her cousin at the university, her mother DeCarla Cotton told CNN.

The group had stopped to get something to eat when a man approached Harris and started flirting with her, Harris’ boyfriend told the mother.

“He was advancing on her and she declined his attention. He refused to go away,” Cotton said.

While the group was trying to leave, a man walked up to the car and started shooting, Cotton said. Harris’ boyfriend returned fire, hitting one of the suspects, she said.

In a statement obtained by CNN affiliate WBRC, attorneys for Miles say he and his family are “heartbroken” over Harris’ death.

“While Darius has been accused of being involved with this tragedy, he maintains his innocence and looks forward to his day in court. Our firm’s own investigation is ongoing, and no further statement will be made at this time,” it added.

The university said it is cooperating with the investigation, along with the athletics department.

Miles, 21, is a junior at the university and is from Washington, DC, according to an archived version of the men’s basketball team roster. Before he was removed from the team, Miles was playing his third season as a forward for the Alabama Crimson Tide, the archived roster shows.

Harris’ mother said her family is choosing the remember her not in the nature of her death, but how she lived her life.

“She wasn’t a troublemaker. She was a hardworking mother who got up every day to take care of her son,” Cotton said. She added that Harris’ 5-year-old son is currently staying with her.

“I haven’t found the words to explain this to him yet,” she said.


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