Alabama’s Miller: Entire state of affairs ‘heartbreaking’

Alabama freshman ahead Brandon Miller declined to debate specifics in regards to the deadly capturing of Jamea Jonae Harris in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in January, however he referred to as your entire state of affairs “actually heartbreaking.”

Miller spoke to the media Wednesday for the primary time since Tuscaloosa police investigator Branden Culpepper testified on Feb. 21 that Miller had acquired a textual content message from his ex-teammate, Darius Miles, to convey Miles’ gun to the scene the place Harris was killed.

Miles and his good friend, Michael Lynn Davis, have since been charged with capital homicide — Davis for allegedly firing the shot that killed Harris and Miles for offering the gun. It’s thought-about capital homicide in Alabama as a result of Harris was inside a automobile when she was shot.

Chief Assistant District Legal professional Paula Whitley informed on Feb. 21 that “there’s nothing we might cost [Miller] with.” Whitley has declined interview requests from ESPN, saying she does not touch upon energetic circumstances.

Miller had initially gone with Miles and freshman guard Jaden Bradley, who was additionally on the scene that evening, to a bar in Tuscaloosa, however when the road was too lengthy, Miller left Miles and Bradley there to go to a restaurant, Miller’s lawyer, Jim Standridge mentioned, and didn’t arrive till minutes earlier than the capturing.

On Feb. 22, Miller mentioned in a press release that he by no means touched the gun and by no means noticed the gun and that it was hidden beneath clothes within the again seat of Miller’s automotive. Gunfire additionally hit the windshield of Miller’s Dodge Charger through the capturing. Standridge mentioned Miller has totally cooperated with police.

“I by no means lose sight of the truth that a household has misplaced considered one of their family members that evening,” Miller mentioned. “This entire state of affairs is simply actually heartbreaking. Respectfully, that is all I am going to have the ability to say on that.”

Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne went on a podcast with Rece Davis and Pete Thamel on Feb. 22 and defined the Crimson Tide’s determination to permit Miller to maintain taking part in with out suspension regardless of his involvement on Jan. 15. Byrne mentioned it was a collective determination amongst him, Alabama coach Nate Oats, college president Dr. Stuart R. Bell and others on the college. Miller mentioned that he has heard the chants on the street — at South Carolina, followers chanted “Lock him up” and “Responsible” — however that he has leaned on teammates, together with when there have been questions on whether or not Miller ought to nonetheless be taking part in for Alabama.

“We hear the chants,” Miller mentioned. “I simply really feel like we simply actually lean on one another to only go to locations like that and simply attempt to pull out powerful wins.”

Miller additionally was criticized for his pregame introduction routine in opposition to Arkansas on Feb. 25, which had him patted down earlier than coming into the courtroom. Oats, who referred to as it “not acceptable,” mentioned his gamers informed him it was simulating an individual being checked by the Transportation Safety Administration earlier than boarding a flight. Miller had carried out it for a number of video games this season.

After the Arkansas sport, Oats mentioned it will not occur once more. On Wednesday, when requested about how he seen Miller dealing with scrutiny and whether or not he has modified, Oats mentioned he believes Miller has taken it severely from the start.

“It is a powerful state of affairs for all of us and it is simply unhappy, to be sincere with you, however I do not, I by no means thought Brandon was flippant with any of it ever,” Oats mentioned. “So so far as off-the-court goes, not essentially large adjustments, however I did not assume there wanted to be any huge adjustments.

“He is an important child that, we’re all going via a troublesome state of affairs collectively, and we’re simply making an attempt to lean on one another via this deal, to be sincere with you.”

Wednesday was the primary time Alabama had made gamers out there for the reason that Feb. 21 preliminary listening to.

Data from ESPN’s Jeff Borzello was used on this report.

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