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 MIAMI (AP) -The alleged shooter in the murder of Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor told police he and the other suspects burned their clothes in an attempt to cover up the crime.
The statement by 17-year-old Eric Rivera Jr. and those by two other suspects were released Wednesday by state prosecutors at the request of The Associated Press and other news outlets. All three statements are heavily redacted on a judge's orders, and do not contain outright confessions to the crime.
But there are hints throughout of what happened and what led up to the Nov. 26 shooting, which authorities say took place in a botched robbery attempt at Taylor's Miami home. Taylor, an All-Pro safety for the Redskins, died the next day from heavy blood loss.
Rivera, like the other suspects from the Fort Myers area, told detectives there were five people on the trip that night, although only four are charged. All five burned their shirts, gloves and other clothes after returning home following Taylor's shooting, he said.
``And why did you guys do this?'' asked Miami-Dade police Det. Juan Segovia.
``Nobody can find out who did it,'' Rivera replied.
Another suspect, 20-year-old Jason Scott Mitchell, said he thought about coming forward when he found out it was Taylor who had been shot. Mitchell said he was told the day after the shooting by another suspect, Charles Wardlow.
``It's like when I found out who it was, it's like, I mean, I just felt like turning myself in,'' Mitchell told police. But he did not, and added he wasn't sure why.
Mitchell's statement also provides new details on a birthday party he attended in September at Taylor's home. Mitchell said he stayed at the house for several days, helping Taylor cut the grass and make other preparations for the party - tasks for which he was paid $300 in $50 bills by Taylor.
The party was for Sasha Johnson, who was Taylor's sister and who was dating suspect Wardlow's nephew Christopher, Mitchell said. He said Taylor gave Johnson $10,000 in a paper bag as a birthday present, and that he saw other large sums of money in the house.
Mitchell also said he thought Taylor would be with the Redskins, who played a game that weekend in Tampa, even though he was out with a knee injury. And, he said, the group almost ran out of gas on the way back to Fort Myers but managed to scrape together $2 in change to make it home.
The third statement released Wednesday was from Venjah Hunte, 20, but it provided almost no new details. Hunte's attorney has said his client never went inside Taylor's house and did not take part in the crime.
No statement was released from Charles Wardlow, the fourth suspect.
Defense attorneys and prosecutors are barred from discussing the case with news media under a gag order issued by Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge Dennis Murphy. All four defendants have pleaded not guilty.
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