Darius Miles Returns to Jail in Limbo, Hearing to Resume at Later Date
Former Alabama basketball player Darius Miles will remain in the Tuscaloosa County Jail in a kind of limbo after a Tuesday immunity hearing was suspended without a ruling from Circuit Judge Daniel Pruet.
TWO RECESSES FOR GREENE
The hearing actually began Monday afternoon and was meant to resume at 9 a.m. Tuesday, but was twice delayed by the tardiness of a key witness.
That man is Shu'bonte Greene, who was subpoenaed to testify at Monday's hearing and did not show up, which led Pruet to issue a bench warrant to have Greene located by law enforcement officers and brought to the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse.
Between the issuance of that writ and the hearing's beginning, Greene reportedly contacted the attorneys representing Miles and said he would come to court but needed a ride - he eventually began testifying at 10:45 a.m. after two recesses to wait for him.
Greene was a combative witness, but his testimony included new details about his relationship to Jamea Harris, the 23-year-old Birmingham woman who was fatally shot on the Tuscaloosa Strip on January 15th.
Harris was reportedly shot in the head during a gunfight between Mile's lifelong friend Michael Davis and Harris' partner Cedric Johnson. Johnson and Harris share a child, and he was also driving the Jeep in which she was shot.
Miles, who was charged with aiding and abetting Harris' capital murder by giving Davis the gun, was not involved in the gunfight itself.
FOUR MEN WITH HARRIS, NOT TWO, AND GANG AFFILIATIONS
As he testified Tuesday, Greene is Johnson's lifelong friend, and both are affiliated with Birmingham's "West End Money Gang," although he said that was in the past tense and the two were no longer members.
Johnson and Greene were in Tuscaloosa that night with Jamea Harris, her cousin Asia Humphrey and two other men identified in court only as Jack and Keivon.
Greene also admitted that he previously told police he was only with Johnson and the two women - that he did not feel like it was relevant to mention Jack and Keivon when he was interviewed back in January.
Keivon is reportedly now dead.
THE SELF-DEFENSE CASE MATERIALIZES
If nothing else, Tuesday provided a glimpse into defense attorney Mary Turner's argument that Miles was acting in self-defense when he handed his friend, Michael Davis, his legally owned handgun which was used soon after in the gunfight that killed Harris.
Turner is poised to argue that Cedric Johnson and Michael Davis exchanged words and possibly threats during a nonviolent confrontation on University Boulevard but separated with bad blood unresolved.
In court, Turner showed surveillance footage of Greene, Jack and Keivon talking to Cedric Johnson just before the shooting. The man identified as Jack was seen walking to the back of Greene's red Impala and retrieving something from the trunk.
Prior to the hearing, Greene allegedly told a private investigator working for Turner that "Jack" had grabbed a pump-action shotgun out of the trunk, but he refuted that in court - he said he didn't know how the trunk came to be open, or who walked around back after it did, or what they might have retrieved.
Footage also showed the Impala following Johnson, who was driving a black Jeep carrying Harris and Humphrey, and the Jeep cutting off its lights as it pulled onto Grace Street, where the deadly shots were fired.
At the same time that night, prosecutors have testified that Darius Miles texted his Alabama Basketball teammate Brandon Miller, who had given Miles a ride to the Strip earlier that night - Miles had left his handgun in Miller's car.
Miller drove to the scene, Miles got the gun and handed it to Michael Davis, who shortly after was exchanging rounds with Cedric Johnson. Johnson shot Davis with a revolver he had in the Jeep - prosecutors say Davis shot first, and attorneys for the Maryland man argue he returned fire.
Turner's argument seems to be that Johnson, Greene, "Jack" and the late Keivon were all working together and meant harm to Michael Davis - that at least two of them were armed, and Davis acted in self-defense when he fired Darius Miles' gun at them.
She has also hinted that the defense will argue that the man called Jack fired that shotgun at some point, but that detail did not fully materialize Tuesday.
Her self-defense case, though, appears to largely depend on cooperation from Greene and Johnson, which has not come easily.
Greene had to be forced to court Tuesday, and investigators can't even find Johnson to serve him his subpoena. Since he hasn't been served, Judge Pruet is not able to issue a writ for his arrest and force participation in the hearing.
Without Johnson's testimony and with Greene allegedly changing his story about whether "Jack" armed himself with the shotgun, Turner clearly needs more time to prepare the self-defense case.
After Greene's testimony, Pruet suspended the hearing - he said all parties had other business to attend to, and it will clearly take some time to get Johnson on the witness stand.
Pruet said he will set the continuance of this hearing soon, but attorneys expect the suspension to last at least a month until everyone involved can meet again.
Until then, Miles is in legal limbo, back to jail until the hearing can conclude and Pruet issues a ruling on whether or not to defense the capital murder charge against him.
His co-defendant, Michael Davis, has different legal representation and the capital murder case against him is progressing at its own pace.
For updates from both as they develop, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.