|Taylor suspect's attorney: Gun thrown in Everglades|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 20 December 2007 18:44|
The four suspects have filed not guilty pleas to first-degree felony murder and armed burglary charges and are being held without bond.
Attorney Michael Hornung told the Miami Herald his client, Venjah Hunte, is cooperating with police and wants to help find the murder weapon. A phone call and e-mail to Hornung by The Associated Press weren't immediately returned Thursday night.
Hornung said Eric Rivera Jr., Charles Wardlow, Jason Mitchell and Hunte, left Fort Myers on Nov. 25, but had no plans when they arrived in Miami. When they saw the luxury cars parked at Taylor's home, one of the suspects said the football star kept $200,000 in a black bag in one of the bedrooms.
At least one of the men said he had stolen $5,000 from Taylor's home before, Hornung said.
The suspects thought Taylor, though injured, was still traveling with the team for a game against Tampa that Sunday. They didn't know he was home nursing a knee injury.
They climbed over a fence and broke into a bathroom near the pool with a crowbar. Rivera, 17, and Mitchell, 19, went inside. Minutes later Mitchell ran out claiming he heard a noise, Hornung said.
Rivera persuaded Mitchell to go back inside. A few minutes later, Hunte, 20, heard a gunshot and then a scream inside the house. Mitchell and Rivera came running out and the group left in the car, Hornung said.
At least two of the defendants have confessed to taking part in the attempted burglary and a grand jury indictment identified Rivera as the one who shot Taylor.
On the ride home, the suspects stopped on Alligator Alley and threw the gun into the Everglades. Once in Fort Myers, Mitchell and Rivera burned their clothes and masks, the attorney said.
Miami-Dade police declined to comment.