|Miami-Dade Police: 4 men arrested in slaying of Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 30 November 2007 17:33|
Police spokeswoman Linda O'Brien identified the men as: Venjah K. Hunte, 20; Eric Rivera Jr., 17; Jason Scott Mitchell, 17; and Charles Kendrick Lee Wardlow, 18. O'Brien said the charges for each had not yet been determined, but ``we are talking murder and burglary.''
The four men were arrested Friday in southwest Florida, about 100 miles from Miami. They will be booked into the Lee County Jail and eventually will be returned to Miami, O'Brien said. She did not have any information on when they would appear in court, their hometowns or if they had attorneys.
The 24-year-old Pro Bowl safety died Tuesday, one day after being shot at his home in an affluent Miami suburb during what officials said appeared to be an attempted burglary. The suspects didn't expect Taylor to be home, said police director Robert Parker, but Taylor was recuperating from a knee injury and had returned to Miami from Washington.
``They were certainly not looking to go there and kill anyone,'' Parker said.
Authorities said they had more than one confession, but Parker would not elaborate.
``We're looking into whether or not one or more of the individuals had been at the residence before,'' Parker said.
Police have been investigating a possible link to a Nov. 17 break-in at Taylor's home, during which they said someone pried open a front window, rifled through drawers and left a kitchen knife on a bed.
The Miami Herald reported on its Web site that Mitchell and Wardlow had connections to Taylor. Mitchell cut Taylor's lawn and did other chores at the house, Mitchell's twin brother, Scottie, told the paper. Taylor's sister, Sasha Johnson, dates Wardlow's older cousin Christopher, and Scottie Mitchell told the paper the couple invited Jason Mitchell to Johnson's birthday party within the past two months.
O'Brien would not confirm the report when contacted by The Associated Press.
``This is another step, but not a conclusion, in a very personal and painful tragedy,'' Redskins owner Dan Snyder said in a statement Friday night.
Taylor and longtime girlfriend, Jackie Garcia, were awakened early Monday by loud noises at Taylor's home in an affluent Miami suburb, family friend Richard Sharpstein said. Taylor grabbed a machete he keeps in the bedroom for protection, Sharpstein said, then someone broke through the bedroom door and fired two shots, one missing and one hitting Taylor in the upper leg. Neither the couple's 18-month-old daughter, also named Jackie, nor Garcia were injured in the attack.
The bullet damaged the femoral artery in Taylor's leg, causing significant blood loss. Taylor never regained consciousness and died a little more than 24 hours later.
A public viewing for Taylor is scheduled Sunday in Miami, and the entire Redskins organization plans to fly to Florida to attend Monday's funeral at Pharmed Arena at Florida International University.
The Redskins also announced that fans attending the team's Sunday game will receive a towel with Taylor's No.21 jersey on it and that his name will be displayed prominently in one of the end zones. Snyder said the team will contribute a minimum of $500,000 to a fund to benefit Taylor's daughter.
Associated Press Writer Brian Skoloff in West Palm Beach, Damian Grass in Miami, and AP Sports Writer Joseph White in Ashburn, Va., contributed to this report.