|Suspects in Sean Taylor's killing denied bond, placed on suicide watch|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 04 December 2007 11:26|
Charles Wardlow, 18, Jason Mitchell, 19, and Venjah Hunte, 20, appeared briefly by videoconference from Miami-Dade County jail, where they will remain after Judge John Thornton Jr.'s ruling.
The three stood silently during the hearing. They were seen on video wearing special garments designed to keep them from using the clothes to make a noose.
Taylor died Nov. 27, barely 24 hours after he was shot in the bedroom of his home a few miles from where he grew up. Police say he was a victim of a botched burglary.
The three suspects and a fourth one, Eric Rivera, 17, all face charges of unpremeditated murder, home invasion with a firearm or another deadly weapon and armed burglary. Rivera is being processed at a juvenile detention center, jail officials said.
``I think he's in disbelief over what occurred,'' said Rivera's attorney, Wilbur Smith. ``His expression to me was that 'I can't believe this kind of thing happened.'''
Asked how he would defend his client, Smith said simply: ``Stay tuned.''
Attorneys said all the men were agitated and jail officials confirmed that those denied bail were under suicide watch.
``He's very distraught,'' said Hunte's attorney, Michael Hornung. ``He's scared.''
Hornung offered glimpses of his client's possible involvement. He said Hunte was the only one of the suspects with a valid driver's license and behind the wheel at least part of the time. He said Hunte did not have a gun and did not know his friends' plans.
``Just a bunch of friends that evening said they were going to the East Coast and he went along,'' Hornung said. ``He had no idea whatsoever what was going on.''
Hunte is cooperating with police, his attorney said, and would tell them everything he knows.
Probable cause affidavits for Mitchell and Rivera said the two confessed to participating in armed burglary. According to the reports, Mitchell and Rivera admitted entering the home and said someone had a gun and shot Taylor, but they didn't identify who. Police and attorneys also have said some of the young men confessed, though they wouldn't elaborate.
Wardlow's attorney, David Brener, did not return a phone message. Another lawyer has said there is a fifth suspect police are seeking, though police would not confirm that.
The court proceedings came a day after Taylor's funeral, which was held at a university arena and drew about 3,000 mourners. Among those attending were NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, 300 members of the redskins organization, O.J. Simpson, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and actor Andy Garcia.