2 Charged In Sean Taylor Homicide Linked To Previous Break In
First I’d like to thank Marcellus Wiley for mentioning TSF and his piece on ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the Morning.
According to a New York Times report, there is evidence connecting two of the men charged in Sean Taylor’s death to the break in eight days before the homicide. This should dispel any rumors, Whitlock Black KKK nonsense, Wilbon non-surprise, Shapiro sensationalism, Cowherd mic spittle etc., of Taylor’s past being ridiculously the cause of his murder. Thanks to those who did the right thing instead of rushing to judgment.
At least two of the four men charged with the murder of the Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor were involved in a burglary of his Miami-area home eight days before his shooting death, a law enforcement official and a lawyer involved in the case said Wednesday. Neither person wanted to be named because the investigation into Taylor’s death remained open, but both confirmed the connection between the previous burglary and the attempted burglary that resulted in Taylor’s death.
Football memorabilia belonging to Taylor and large amounts of cash were found in the home of at least one of the defendants in the murder case, the lawyer and the official said.
Richard Sharpstein, Taylor’s former lawyer, said he knew of the connection before Wednesday. “This wasn’t a random burglary,” he said. “This was a dime-a-dozen wannabe criminals who had been to the house before. They stole his life thinking they were going to steal a few dollars from him.”
Eric Rivera, 17; Jason Scott Mitchell, 19; Charles Kendrick Lee Wardlow, 18; and Venjah Hunte, 20, have been charged with first-degree felony murder and armed burglary in Taylor’s death. Their arraignments have been scheduled for Dec. 21.
The Miami-Dade Police Department spokesman Roy Rutland said Wednesday that he could not confirm a link between the two burglaries.
“It’s something we’re looking into,” he said.
Taylor, a 24-year-old Pro Bowl safety, was shot last week during what the police have called a burglary gone bad.
The week before, Taylor’s house had been burglarized after someone pried open a window to gain access to the house. Although little was stolen, the police said, trespassers rummaged through several drawers and also went through a safe that Taylor kept in his bedroom. A knife had been left on the bed, according to the police report.
After Taylor’s death, there was speculation that the knife was left on the bed to threaten Taylor. Arizona Cardinals cornerback Antrel Rolle, Taylor’s childhood friend, said that Taylor had many enemies in the Miami area and that “they’ve been targeting him for three years now,” according to The Associated Press.
Sharpstein, however, said that the knife left on the bed was a kitchen knife used by the intruders “as a simple burglary tool” to pick locks.
“They weren’t professionals, and it showed,” he said.
In the grand jury indictment, Rivera, who will be tried as an adult, was identified as the shooter. Mitchell wore a hood during the burglary to conceal his identity, it said.
At least one of the defendants had been to Taylor’s house last month, Sharpstein said, for a birthday party for Taylor’s sister, Sasha Johnson, who turned 21. Johnson has dated Wardlow’s cousin. Mitchell’s twin brother, Scottie, said that his brother had been to the house before to mow the lawn, according to a report in The Miami Herald.
Hunte’s lawyer, Michael Hornung, said that his client had never been to the house before the night Taylor was shot, and that he had no idea why the other defendants had gone to the house in the first place.
Circuit Judge John Thornton Jr. denied Rivera bail in Miami-Dade County court on Wednesday. After that hearing, Rivera’s lawyer, Wilbur Smith, said that he hoped to resolve the case quickly, to minimize the pain for the Taylor family.