Parents of shooting victim call Brandon Miller’s continued play for Alabama ‘unimaginable’

Alabama Crimson Tide forward Brandon Miller entered the court on Wednesday for an away game against South Carolina — a game many thought he shouldn’t have been allowed to play. DeCarla Cotton and her husband Delvin Hurd, parents of 23-year-old mother Jamea Harris, were part of this group.

Harris was killed by Michael Davis on Sunday morning with a gun that Miller allegedly gave to Darius Miles. Davis is not affiliated with Alabama, and Miles was a junior on the Alabama basketball team.

A day after Miller’s alleged role in delivering firearms was revealed, Miller scored a career-high 41 points and hit the game-winning shot in Alabama’s overtime victory.

“It’s just unimaginable and it feels like his life goes on,” Cotton told USA Today Sports on Thursday. “He took a short break and it didn’t stop. It’s like “OK, slap your wrist and go play ball.”

Miller is Alabama’s leading scorer, national player of the year candidate, and a potential NBA lottery pick for second-place Crimson Tide.

“They are worried about his career, but what about this 5-year-old boy (Harris’ son, Kane). He is the real victim in all of this. He will no longer have a mother who will influence his growing up and who he becomes.

Miles was quickly fired from Alabama and faces capital murder charges along with Davis.

In Miller’s case, “we have nothing to blame him for,” Tuscaloosa’s chief assistant district attorney, Paula Whitley, said Tuesday. This is reportedly due to a lack of evidence that he knew what the gun would be used for when he allegedly delivered it to the Tuscaloosa nightclub on the night of the shooting.

February 22, 2023;  Columbia, South Carolina, USA;  Alabama Crimson Tide forward Brandon Miller (24) dribbles against the South Carolina Gamecox in the second half at the Colonial Life Arena.  Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
Alabama Crimson Tide forward Brandon Miller allegedly delivered the gun that was later used in the murder and never once missed a game. (Jeff Blake – USA TODAY Sports)

According to police testimony, that night Miller received a message from Miles asking him to drive to the Strip, a collection of bars and restaurants, and take Miles’ gun with him.

Miller’s lawyer in Tuscaloosa, Jim Standridge, alleged in a statement released Wednesday that when Miller gave Miles a ride to the Tuscaloosa nightclub on the night of the shooting, Miles brought his gun and left it hidden under some clothing in the back seat of Miller’s car. According to Standridge, Miller “never saw a gun or held one.”

Cotton told USA Today Sports that Miller should have known the gun could lead to violence. “When someone says to bring them a weapon, what do you think they are going to do with it?” she asked. “And if there hadn’t been a gun, she wouldn’t have died.”

Alabama Coach Nate Oates ‘Terrible’ Comments

Harris’ stepfather, Delvin Hurd, added that Alabama basketball coach Nate Oates handled the tragedy “horribly”.

Oates “crossed the line on Tuesday” when he called Miller “in the wrong place, at the wrong time,” Hurd said. Oates later released a follow-up statement and apologized.

“I’m not here to make excuses, but I want to be clear that I didn’t have details from the hearing that morning as I was walking straight from practice,” Oates said. “I used the wrong choice of words to give the impression that I did not take this tragic situation seriously, which has been going on throughout its existence. I sincerely apologize for that.”

From Hurd’s and Cotton’s point of view, Oates’ statement changed nothing. “The denial meant nothing to us because over that five-week period he made a habit of making reckless statements,” Hurd said. Harris.”


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