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Alabama Walk-on Sues New York Times, Alleges Defamation

By Joe Gaither,


University of Alabama sophomore walk-on Kai Spears has filed a defamation lawsuit against the New York Times.

In March the New York Times reported that Spears was an occupant in Brandon Miller's vehicle at the time of the Jan. 15 shooting that resulted in Jamea Harris's death.

Spears was quick to deny his involvement in the evening and said that he had seen Miller earlier in the evening but was back home at the time of the shooting.

The lawsuit alleges the Times is guilty of libel/defamation and false light/invasion of privacy.

"We plan to defend against the suit vigorously,” said New York Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha.

The New York Times did not act on Spears' request for a retraction.

Spears is a walk-on who did not appear in a game for the Alabama Crimson Tide this past season. His father, Christian Spears, currently serves as the athletic director at Marshall University.

Spears once again denied his presence in the vehicle in the lawsuit, and provided an alibi for his whereabouts.

The, then freshman states was at Waffle House on the Tuscaloosa strip with friends from out of town, before going to Spears's dorm room.

After a short stint in the dorm room the trio met up with Miller before heading back out to Moe's Original BBQ. The complaint states that the trio left the Strip area around 1:40 a.m.

Due to the Times failure to retract the story the lawsuit, filed by West Virginia attorney Stephen New, "seeks an excess of $75,000" in damages.

Spears said he plans to use any money gained via the lawsuit to help Harris's 5-year old son with future educational costs.

See Also: Alabama AD Greg Byrne Releases Statement Refuting Kai Spears' Presence at Fatal Shooting

See Also: Alabama Guard Jahvon Quinerly Returning for Final Year of Eligibility

See Also: Mark Sears Withdraws from NBA Draft, Returning to Alabama Basketball

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