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4 arrested in Taylor murder


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Sad, but at least they caught them, and caught them quickly.

MIAMI - The family of slain Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor will get little comfort from the arrest of four suspects, a family friend said, particularly since it appears the killing happened because of greed.

"They targeted him for his wealth," said Richard Sharpstein, Taylor's former attorney. "It makes his death even more pathetic, unnecessary and just actually disgusting."

Police arrested four people Friday in connection with Taylor's shooting death, saying they went to the home intent on committing a burglary, not killing.

The suspects didn't expect Taylor to be there, said Miami-Dade County police Director Robert Parker, but the Redskins safety was recuperating from a knee injury and had returned from Washington. When Taylor surprised them, he was shot.

"They were certainly not looking to go there and kill anyone," Parker said. "They were expecting a residence that was not occupied. So murder or shooting someone was not their initial motive."

Police spokeswoman Linda O'Brien identified the suspects as: Venjah K. Hunte, 20; Eric Rivera Jr., 17; Jason Scott Mitchell, 19; 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."

Authorities had more than one confession, but Parker would not elaborate.

The four 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.

Sharpstein had not spoken with Taylor's family regarding Friday's arrests, but said he doubted they provided any comfort.

"I know they are just saddened and appalled. The fact that they arrested his killer is no comfort to them," he said. "It probably inflames them more, because it tells them people were trying to steal from him.

"They are murderers. They should be treated like murderers and put in the Miami River and floated away."

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.

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.

"We're looking into whether or not one or more of the individuals had been at the residence before," Parker said.

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.

A woman who identified herself as Jason Mitchell's mother told the Naples Daily News her son was at a birthday party at Sean Taylor's home a couple months ago. She also said her son was at home all week and last weekend.

"I don't know where he's at, I don't know why he's being held," she told the Naples paper. "No parent should see this happen to their child."

O'Brien would not confirm the reports when contacted by The Associated Press.

Taylor and longtime girlfriend, Jackie Garcia, were awakened early Monday by loud noises at Taylor's home in an affluent Miami suburb. Taylor grabbed a machete he keeps in the bedroom for protection, Sharpstein said. 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.

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 Sunday's game will receive a towel with Taylor's No. 21 jersey on it, and his name will be displayed prominently in an end zone.

Redskins owner Dan Snyder said the team will contribute a minimum of $500,000 to a fund to benefit Taylor's daughter, and he released a statement late Friday acknowledging the arrests.

"This is another step, but not a conclusion, in a very personal and painful tragedy," he said. "I also want to thank everyone who has joined us in mourning the loss of Sean. People from all over the world contacted the Redskins to share our grief and offer their prayers for Sean and his family. We will never forget the courage his family, especially Jackie, Pete and Donna, have shown. Their composure has been a source of strength for us all."

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that doesnt matter dude.....someone lost their life over something petty....someone who had cleaned up his act and became a better man through it.....Someone who had a young daughter....someone who wanted to show his daughter she could be proud of him.....

None of us are "Clean" we've all done something we regret....wether its something small like lying to someone or something big like breaking the law.....he showed maturity.....he showed he wanted to change.....its a shame someone would want to do ne harm to someone who tried so hard to break out of the bad way......

R.I.P Sean Taylor #21 for ever

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i got to admit he was a punk, he spat on players and went around disrespecting when people didnt do anything to him expect catch the ball when he covered them. im pretty sure michael pittman or TJ houshmanzadeh wont be giving his eulogy because you cant say the guy was great so lets just leave it at maybe he changed after he had his kid but he left this world as a disrespectful character. his fault not ours.

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What's sad is the idiots that are still parroting the "he wasn't the cleanest of characters" bullsh!t. FIne.....I think we should do that to all people in the news that die..lets bring up every negative thing and say "oh well, they deserved it"......for oldtimes sakes, lets start with Nicole Brown Simpson, cokehead #####..she deserved it.

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Wow.  Taking me out of context much?  I was referring to the media jumping on his past...which they will ALWAYS do in an incident like this.  People take it as some sort of insult, which is absurd.  He committed a gun crime before, and of course people are going to bring it up whether it is related or not.

Who in the **** ever read my post as "he deserved to be shot and killed"?  Get a life.

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Very sad indeed. Those thugs should never step another foot in public unless they're chained. 20-30-40-50- years simply isn't long enough to get the point across that killing is wrong and even if it's not your intentions, you're responsible when someone is killed during the act of a crime.

Not only did the killer have a gun but it was a loaded gun. Not only did he have a loaded gun, he carried the gun in the house with him. Not only did he have a loaded gun that he carried in the house with him, he chose to aim and fire, not once but twice.

If he wasn't looking to kill anyone, he sure was prepared for it. The killer should get the death penalty.

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Myspace pages of 2 of them:

Wouldn't let me make them lazy links for some reason



I guess the music career wasn't working out for that one little idiot.

Taylor was attacked in his own home. This crap about him having an unsavory past doesn't matter and is in poor taste.

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