Alabama basketball standout Brandon Miller brought a teammate the gun that was used to kill a woman last month near the university campus, a Tuscaloosa police officer testified on Tuesday.
Tuscaloosa detective Branden Culpepper testified that Miller brought Darius Miles’ gun to him on the night of the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Jamea Jonae Harris, The Associated Press reported.
Culpepper testified that Miles texted Miller to ask him to bring the gun to him prior to the shooting. Harris was sitting in the passenger seat of a car when she was struck by a bullet, police said.
Update 5:46 p.m. EST Feb. 22: The University of Alabama athletics department released a statement Wednesday saying that the school “continues to cooperate fully” with law enforcement.
“Based on all the information we have received, Brandon Miller is not considered a suspect in this case, only a cooperative witness,” the statement said.
The university added that Miller “remains an active member of our team.”
-- Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
Original report: The testimony came during a preliminary hearing for Miles and Michael Lynn Davis, who face capital murder charges in Harris’ Jan. 15 death. Miles has said that he gave the gun to Davis who fired it.
Miller, the leading scorer for the second-ranked Crimson Tide, has not been charged with a crime. Paula Whitley, Tuscaloosa chief deputy district attorney, told AL.com on Tuesday that “there’s nothing we could charge [Miller] with.”
Alabama coach Nate Oats said Tuesday that the school has been “fully cooperating with law enforcement the entire time.”
“We knew about that,” Oats said when asked about Miller allegedly bringing the gun to Miles. “Can’t control everything anybody does outside of practice. Nobody knew that was going to happen. ... Brandon hasn’t been in any type of trouble, nor is he in any type of trouble in this case. Wrong spot at the wrong time.”
After receiving criticism on social media, Oats tried to clarify what he called his “unfortunate remarks.”
“We were informed by law enforcement of other student-athletes being in the vicinity, and law enforcement has repeatedly told us that no other student-athletes were suspects,” Oats said. “They were witnesses only. Our understanding is that they have all been fully truthful and cooperative.
“In no way did I intend to downplay the seriousness of this situation or the tragedy of that night. My prayers continue to go out to Jamea Harris’s family.”