The New York Times maintains its report that a quarter Alabama men’s basketball Player Kai Spears was present the night 23-year-old Jamea Jonae Harris was shot and killed near the university campus on January 15, despite denials from Spears and the university.
CCTV reviewed by the Times allegedly showed Spears, a freshman, traveling in a car with SEC player and Newcomer of the Year Brandon Miller.
Miller had previously been linked to the January shooting after police testimony alleges that he transported former teammate Darius Miles’ gun to the scene of the shooting.
While Miles has since been charged capital murder, Miller faces no charges. His attorney said the standout freshman was not aware at the time that he was in possession of the firearm.
ALABAMA BASKETBALL PLAYER STRICTLY DENYING KNOWING OF FATAL SHOOTING: ‘100% INACCURATE’
Another freshman, Jaden Bradley, was also present at the time of the shooting, police said.
According to the report, Spears was in Miller’s vehicle, which had been hit by two stray bullets. None of the players were injured.
When asked about the report on Wednesday, Spears told the newspaper, “I’m sorry, I won’t be able to speak about it,” but on Thursday he issued a statement on his Instagram explaining the Report named “100%”. inaccurate.”
“I have to say one thing – the New York Times report was 100% inaccurate and the author totally disregarded the truth,” his post reads. “I’m trying to process and deal with these false statements that were somehow made public and then seen by so many. I’m so grateful to Alabama Athletics for refuting her on my behalf.”
The New York Times told Fox News Digital on Friday, when asked for comment, that it stands by its original reporting that Spears was the fourth player from Alabama to be at the scene during the deadly shooting in January.
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Christian Spears, Spears’ father and athletic director at Marshall, issued a separate statement Thursday calling the report “irresponsible and provably false.”
“I’m just incredibly disappointed with the New York Times’ irresponsible and demonstrably false reporting,” Christian Spears said of the sports department. “We are currently examining all legal options. I will not comment further, but will refer to the University of Alabama’s statement on the matter.”
Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne also issued a statement, calling the report “inaccurate” and explaining that the only other players on the scene besides Miles Miller and Bradley were.
“Some inaccurate reports of the involvement of Alabama student athletes have been reported, showing an unfortunate disregard for the facts. We ask everyone to exercise due diligence before reporting on this sensitive situation.”
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Michael “Buzz” Davis, who is not affiliated with the Alabama men’s basketball team, is also facing a murder charge for the alleged murder of Harris, the mother of a 5-year-old son.
Alabama competed in the men’s NCAA tournament as #1 total seed. It defeated No. 16 Texas A&M Corpus-Christi in a first-round match on Thursday.
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