Defense attorneys for former Alabama basketball player Darius Miles had little to celebrate after a short Friday morning hearing in the capital murder case against him.

As the Thread has extensively reported, Miles has been in the Tuscaloosa County Jail for more than six months after he was arrested in connection to the fatal shooting of 23-year-old mother Jamea Harris on the Tuscaloosa Strip on January 15th.

Readers can review the details of the case in the more than a dozen stories we have published about it, but prosecutors say Miles' co-defendant and longtime friend Michael Davis fired the bullet that killed Harris. They say Miles gave him the firearm moments before the deadly shootout unfolded, and both men were arrested and charged with capital murder the day after the killing.

Defense attorneys for both men say Davis was acting in self-defense, that Harris' boyfriend Cedric Johnson meant to harm him over a brief altercation they'd had earlier in the night. John Robbins, the attorney representing Davis, said video evidence shows Johnson shoot his own gun first, and Davis return fire.

Mary Turner, who represents Miles, filed a motion in June asking Circuit Judge Daniel Pruet to grant him immunity and dismiss the capital murder charge on grounds of self-defense.

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On Friday, in the first hearing in Miles' case not packed full of spectators and reporters, Pruet ruled on three motions in the case which generally felt like setbacks for Turner and Miles.


Turner had previously asked Pruet to order the University of Alabama to preserve several days of surveillance footage captured from Grace Street on the Strip, where the shooting took place, to the Walk of Champions, where Johnson drove and parked after Harris was killed.

A specialist from UA appeared in court Friday to report that their cameras "roll over" and delete footage to make room for new video every two weeks. She said the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit had already reviewed relevant footage from the night of the shooting and pulled it for preservation, but any footage not already saved is likely gone for good.

Turner had hoped to review as much raw video as possible and not rely on a police investigator's determination of what footage was relevant to the case, but "what we got is what we got," Pruet said, denying her motion.


Prosecuting assistant district attorney Paula Whitley had filed a motion asking Pruet to compel Turner to make a better argument in her motion for pre-trial immunity and the dismissal of the charge.

Whitley said in her motion that Miles' defense "does not state any particular grounds upon which he bases his claim of self-defense and does not provide the State with adequate notice as to what it is defending against."

Pruet said he tended to agree with Whitley and called Turner's motion for pre-trial immunity and dismissal "devoid of facts."

He granted the prosecution's motion and said Turner would need to lay out a more clear self-defense case before the matter goes to a hearing.

Turner answered by saying she made her case for the self-defense argument at a pre-trial hearing in February and submitted a transcript of that argument as an answer for Whitley's request for what the court calls a "More Definite Statement."

The prosecutor will have until the middle of next week to decide if they find Turner's submission sufficient.


The state also filed a motion asking Pruet to instruct the defense to share any relevant details they glean from the experts they retain to examine specific details of the case.

That kind of cooperation is standard, Pruet said, and was expected before the state filed a motion seeking it explicitly - but he granted the motion and told Turner's team to keep prosecutors informed as their investigation continues to develop.

Turner agreed but said the case is still in its infancy and the defense had nothing to share at this time.

Miles attended the hearing in an orange prison jumpsuit with his hands cuffed to a waist chain. A group of his family attended the hearing but got no time with him before he was escorted out of the courtroom by deputies shortly after Pruet made his last ruling.

For more coverage of the case as it develops, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.

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