Alabama star Brandon Miller was taunted with chants of “lock him up” while playing in Wednesday night’s game in South Carolina, a day after Tuscaloosa police testified that the freshman forward transported the gun to a teammate that was used in a fatal shooting last month.
The school said it investigated the situation further and cleared Miller to play in the Southeastern Conference game against the Gamecocks. Miller was not charged in the Jan. 15 shooting death of 23-year-old Jamea Jonae Harris.
“UA Athletics continues to fully cooperate with law enforcement in the ongoing investigation of this tragic situation,” Alabama said in a statement. “Based on all the information we have received, Brandon Miller is not considered a suspect in this case, only a cooperating witness.
Today’s statement from Brandon’s attorney adds additional context that the University has considered as part of its review of the facts. Based on all the data we have collected, Brandon continues to be an active member of our team.’
Miller scored a career-high 41 points for Alabama, including the winner in overtime after a game-tying shot in regulation.
Brandon Miller played for Alabama on Wednesday, a day after it emerged he was involved in a situation in which a 23-year-old woman and her mother were shot and killed.
Miller, 20, played for Alabama against South Carolina on Wednesday night.
Michael Lynn Davis and former Alabama player Darius Miles face capital murder charges. Miller took the gun to Miles, who was fired from the show after his arrest. Davis has been identified as the shooter.
Miller’s attorney, Jim Standridge, said his client did not see the gun.
“Brandon never saw the gun or touched it,” Standridge said in a statement. “In addition, we understand that the weapon was hidden under some clothing in the back seat of his car.”
On Tuesday, Tuscaloosa Detective Branden Culpepper testified that Miles texted Miller on Jan. 15, asking his then-teammate to take his gun to an off-campus area, where they later shot and killed. Harris, 23. Miller allegedly complied, turning the gun on Miles and Davis, who are facing capital murder charges in Harris’s death.
When Miller arrived on the scene, he allegedly contacted Miles in a text message, writing that “the heat is in the hat” and adding that “there’s one in the head,” according to Culpepper. As the detective explained, Miller was allegedly indicating that there was a gun in a hat inside his car with a bullet in the chamber.
On Tuesday, Tuscaloosa Deputy District Attorney Paula Whitley told AL.com they couldn’t charge Miller with anything.
Miller’s involvement in the incident was not publicly disclosed until Tuesday. Crimson Tide coach Nate Oats said the school knew and his comments included “wrong place at the wrong time” that Miller was on the scene.
Oats later clarified his ‘unfortunate comments’, saying: ‘I in no way intended to minimize the seriousness of this situation or the tragedy of that night. My prayers continue with the Jamea Harris family.
Jamea Harris, 23, of the Birmingham area was fatally shot, police confirmed.
Darius Miles (left) and Michael Lynn Davis (right) have been charged with capital murder. Miles has since been cut from the Crimson Tide basketball team.
Another Alabama player, Jaden Bradley, was also at the scene. He has also not been charged with any crime.
The explosive situation comes with Alabama (23-4, 13-1 SEC) ranked second in the national level and on pace for the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, with Miller leading the way.
Miller leads the SEC with an 18.7 scoring average and became the third freshman in school history to score at least 500 points in a season. He is also averaging 8.0 rebounds per game and has made a team-high 82 three-pointers.
Miller is expected to declare for the NBA draft after the season. He is projected as a likely top-five overall pick.
Harris, the mother of a five-year-old boy, was visiting her cousin and boyfriend in Tuscaloosa when she was shot and killed in the early morning of January 15.
“She has a 5-year-old son who is still waiting for his mother to come home,” DeCarla Heard, Harris’s mother, told reporters. ‘I want justice for my grandson.’