Alabama’s Miller stars amid alleged role in fatal shooting

Feb 22, 2023, 1:32 AM | Updated: Feb 23, 2023, 1:49 pm

Alabama forward Brandon Miller (24) drives against South Carolina forward Gregory Jackson II (23) o...

Alabama forward Brandon Miller (24) drives against South Carolina forward Gregory Jackson II (23) on the way to scoring the go-ahead basket in overtime of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2022, in Columbia, S.C. Alabama won 78-76. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

(AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Alabama standout freshman Brandon Miller was in the starting lineup and had a career-high scoring game in a win over South Carolina on Wednesday night — one day after police said he delivered a gun ahead of a fatal shooting that took place near campus in mid-January, and hours after the university said he’d remain an “active member” of the No. 2-ranked Crimson Tide and is not considered a suspect.

Alabama’s support for Miller, one of college basketball’s top players, made little difference to Gamecock fans at Colonial Life Arena, who focused on the 6-foot-9 forward even before the Southeastern Conference game started. The crowd booed each time Miller touched the ball. Members of the student section chanted, “Lock him up,” and “Guilty!” several times as Miller played.

Miller, who finished with 41 points, scored the decisive basket with 0.9 seconds left in OT as SEC-leading Alabama beat South Carolina 78-76.

The game capped an eventful few days for Miller, who authorities say is allegedly connected to the shooting death of 23-year-old Jamea Jonae Harris last month. Tuscaloosa Police investigator Brandon Culpepper testified this week that Miller brought a gun to now-former teammate Darius Miles on the night of the shooting after Miles texted him and asked him to do so.

Earlier Wednesday, an attorney for Miller said his client never handled the gun officials say was involved.

“Based on all the information that we have received, Brandon Miller is not considered a suspect in this case, only a cooperative witness,” the university said in a statement released before Wednesday’s game. “Today’s statement from Brandon’s lawyer adds additional context that the University considered as part of its review of the facts. Based on all the facts that we have gathered, Brandon remains an active member of the team”

Alabama coach Nate Oats acknowledged that some of his players may have let the past few days affect their game against South Carolina. But not Miller.

“He’s one of the most mentally tough kids I’ve ever coached,” Oats said.

Neither Miller nor other players were made available to the media after the game.

Miller was on the court about 80 minutes before tipoff, warming up with teammates before fans were allowed in the building. Once the doors opened, students filled several areas around the court and focused on Miller, who didn’t react while continuing his pregame drills.

He started the game slowly, missing two wide-open 3-pointers, and the Crimson Tide found themselves in a battle against the Gamecocks, trailing 35-31 at the half. Miller warmed up near the end of the half, scoring on a 3-pointer and a pair of high-flying jams and accounting for almost half of his teams points. He finished the half with a team-high 15 points, three rebounds, a block and a turnover.

It was a highly charged atmosphere and at least two fans were led out of the arena by police as the South Carolina crowd cheered.

Miller’s attorney, Jim Standridge, said his client never handled the gun owned by Miles, who prosecutors say is accused of providing his gun to Michael Davis, who fired it and killed Harris.

“Brandon never touched the gun, was not involved in its exchange to Mr. Davis in any way, and never knew that illegal activity involving the gun would occur,” Standridge said in a statement.

Miller’s alleged involvement in the death of Harris was detailed Tuesday at a preliminary hearing for Miles and Davis, who both face capital murder charges in Harris’ death. Culpepper testified that Miles texted Miller to bring him his handgun.

Oats has said the team was aware Miller allegedly brought the gun to Miles.

Standridge said in the statement that Miles asked Miller for a ride to a club. Standridge said Miles’ brought his “legal handgun and left it in the backseat of Brandon’s vehicle. Brandon never saw the handgun nor handled it.”

Miles later texted Miller to bring him the gun. Miller never got out of his vehicle, was not part of the exchange with Davis and did not interact with anyone in Harris’ party, according to Standridge.

Miller quickly drove off when gunfire took place, Standridge said. When Miller was told someone was hurt and police wanted to speak to him, “he has fully cooperated with law enforcement’s investigation,” Standridge said.

Standridge said the events of the shooting were captured on video. “There is no dispute about Brandon’s activities during this evening,” Standridge said.

Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne, on the ESPN College GameDay podcast, said the school learned new information in the case this week that it used to make its decision to let Miller play. He said Oats did not have all facts when he first addressed the media on Tuesday — Oats described Miller’s situation as “Wrong spot at the wrong time” — and didn’t handle things in the best way.

“We’ve addressed that with him,” Byrne said.

Miller leads the Crimson Tide, averaging 18.7 points and eight rebounds per game entering Wednesday’s action. He’s considered a possible lottery pick in June’s NBA draft.


AP college basketball: and and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

3 months ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

3 months ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

3 months ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

3 months ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

3 months ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

3 months ago

Alabama’s Miller stars amid alleged role in fatal shooting