Alabama Takes 4-1 Lead Over New York Times In Saying Tide Player Kai Spears Was Not At Murder Scene

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Alabama camp is blitzing The New York Times with the type precision that would make Crimson Tide football coach Nick Saban beam with pride.

So far, it is a four-man delayed rush trying to sack the Old Gray Lady.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that Alabama freshman walk-on guard Kai Spears of Pittsburgh was in Brandon Miller’s car on the night of the murder on the Alabama Strip on Jan. 15. Then the Alabama camp huddled.

Miller had delivered the murder weapon to teammate Darius Miles after 1 a.m. on Jan. 15, according to Tuscaloosa Police testimony on Jan. 21 in a preliminary hearing. Miles had left his gun in Miller’s car. As soon as Miller and Spears – according to the New York Times – arrived, Miles took his gun and gave it to childhood friend Michael Lynn Davis. At that point, Davis allegedly Jamea Jonae Harris several times, according to Tuscaloosa Police.

Harris was pronounced dead at about 1:45 a.m. on Jan. 15. Miles and Davis have been in jail on capital murder charges awaiting trial since Jan. 15.

A day after a New York Times reported that Spears was Miller’s passenger, Spears came out strong against the story in a statement on Thursday. That followed a strong statement Wednesday night by the University of Alabama that the story was wrong.

Former Alabama basketball player Darius Miles allegedly supplied the gun in murder case. (Credit: Tuscaloosa County Jail)
Michael Lynn Davis (left) and former Alabama basketball player Darius Miles are in jail on capital murder charges. (Tuscaloosa County Jail)

Kai Spears Strongly Disputes New York Times Story

“I have one thing to say,” Spears said Thursday on Instagram. “The report in the New York Times was 100% inaccurate, and the writer had complete disregard for the truth.”

Billy Witz of the New York Times wrote: “In another car that was struck were Brandon Miller, a star player for the Crimson Tide, and Kai Spears, a freshman walk-on whose presence at the scene had not been previously reported.”

Miller’s windshield was busted with bullets, according to Tuscaloosa Police.


“I am trying to process and cope with these false statements that somehow have been published and then seen by so many,” Spears’ post continued.

Then later Thursday, Spears’ father Christian Spears, who is athletic director at Marshall University in West Virginia, weighed in strongly.

“I am just incredibly disappointed in the irresponsible and demonstrably false reporting by the New York Times,” the elder Spears said in a Marshall release. “We are exploring all legal options at this time. I will have no further comment, instead deferring to the University of Alabama’s statement on the matter.”

That statement said the following:

Alabama Said Story Was Wrong

“Your story is inaccurate,” the Alabama statement read. “Based on the information we have, there were no current student-athletes present at the scene other than Brandon Miller and Jaden Bradley, who are both fully cooperating witnesses. From the outset, UA Athletics has fully cooperated with law enforcement and supported their investigation.ā€

Witz covered the SEC Tournament last week in Nashville and is in Birmingham covering the NCAA South Region.

“So thankful to Alabama Athletics for refuting it on my behalf,” Spears said in his Instagram statement. “More than anything, I remain completely heartbroken by the tragic death that occurred that night.”


Witz quoted Spears in his story from a locker room interview Wednesday.

“Iā€™m sorry, Iā€™m not going to be able to speak about that,ā€ Spears said in the story.

Spears Family Law Firm Tackles New York Times

Then shortly before Alabama’s first round NCAA Tournament game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Thursday afternoon here, the Spears family’s lawyer released a statement ripping the New York Times for a fourth time in less than 24 hours.

“The article in the New York Times, dated March 15, 2023, identifying Kai as a fourth person at the scene of a shooting is demonstrably false as we can demonstrate Kai was not in the car, nor near that vicinity at the time in question,” the statement from the New, Taylor & Associates law firm of Beckley, West Virginia said.

“This irresponsible journalism has harmed Kai and his family, as well as the University of Alabama and Marshall University,” the statement continued. “We have reached out to general counsel for the New York Times with no response.”

The statement included another comment from Spears’ father.

“I am furious at the completely erroneous article placing my son in the car at the scene,” Spears said. “It is absolutely false. Kai was not there. We all must hold irresponsible journalists and their publications accountable.”

The law firm’s statement continued.

“We are exploring all legal options to the Spears family,” it said in conclusion.

Written by Glenn Guilbeau

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