July 23, 2014

Sheriff: Kenny Miles gunshot wound was self-inflicted (AUDIO)

Miles played for South Carolina from 2009 to 2012 (Courtesy: SportsTalk)

Miles played for South Carolina from 2009 to 2012 (Courtesy: SportsTalk)

Former University of South Carolina running back Kenny Miles’ gunshot wound he suffered one week ago was self-inflicted, according to Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott.

During a brief press conference Tuesday, Lott said investigators had found Miles’ gun in the trunk of his car. He said a ballistics test confirmed it was the gun that had fired the bullet.

AUDIO: Hear the full press conference (2:33)

Miles suffered a gunshot wound in his arm on Nov. 4. According to Richland County deputies, Miles had initially told them he was the victim of an attempted robbery at a business park just outside the Columbia suburb of Irmo. However, Lott began questioning that story a day later.

The sheriff said he would not “speculate” why Miles shot himself, or if it was even intentional.

Miles released a statement through his attorney Neal Lourie soon after the press conference:

Last week I made a big mistake by not being up front about how the shooting occurred. I was not involved in any criminal activity. However, I was scared and worried how my actions would be perceived. I only made matters worse by not telling the truth. I make no excuses for my behavior.

I would like apologize to Sheriff Leon Lott and the entire Richland County Sheriff’s Department; my employer, The Office of the Attorney General; my teammates and coaches; The University of South Carolina Community; friends; family; fans; and anyone else that I’ve disappointed.
I appreciate the support and prayers of the Gamecock Nation. I want you to know that I do not take your support lightly or for granted. I only hope that you will forgive me and allow me to earn your trust back over time.

Lott said Miles was now cooperating with the investigation. He has been released from hospital, but is still under doctor’s care. The sheriff said Miles will be charged with filing a false police report once he is physically able to be served a warrant.

“He filed a false police report with us,” Lott told reporters. “An official report that we did a very intense investigation on, wasted a lot of manpower and a lot of time on. I hope the courts rule that he will reimburse the Sheriff’s Department and the taxpayers of Richland County for the time and effort we put in on something that was not true.”

Under South Carolina law, a person who falsely reports a felony to police is guilty of a felony himself and can be sentenced up to five years in prison or fined up to $1,000 (or both). A judge may require the offender to pay restitution to the investigating agency to offset the costs incurred in investigating the false police report.