Sean Taylor is a safety for the Washington Redskins of the NFL and a former standout at the University of Miami. Sean Taylor has a...

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Four suspects indicted on murder and burglary charges in the slaying of NFL star Sean Taylor began their journey through the courts on Wednesday.

Court documents say the youngest, Eric Rivera, Jr., 17, is alleged to have fired the fatal shot. He appeared briefly on Wednesday morning.

Eric Rivera was indicted as an adult and Judge John Thornton found probable cause to support charges of first degree felony murder and burglary.

Three other suspects - Venjah K. Hunte, 20, Jason Scott Mitchell, 19, and Charles Kendrick Lee Wardlow, 18 - appeared Tuesday in a Miami court.

Eric Rivera Mug Shot

Eric Rivera, Jr., 17, is alleged to have fired the shot that killed Sean Taylor.

The four Sean Taylor suspects wore thick green vests, which defense lawyers said were suicide safety smocks. They were ordered held without bail at the Pre-Trial Detention Center in Miami and are under suicide watch.

Eric Rivera was armed during the alleged burglary, and "during the course of the commission of the offense ... discharged a firearm and as a result of the discharge, death or great bodily harm was inflicted upon [Sean Taylor]," the indictment says.

Sawyer Smith, who with his father Wilbur is representing Eric Rivera, said his client was admitting no wrongdoing and wants to work with prosecutors:

"We would like to sit down and begin discussion with the State attorneys so we can move towards a resolution in the case that has the best interest of all parties in mind We want to minimize the impact of case resolution on the Taylor family and find a result that's in the best interest of justice. Plea negotiations are typical in criminal cases. However, we don't know when or if that will occur."

The four suspects were arrested Friday. Sean Taylor, 24, died a day after he was shot during thge apparent burglary at his home. Miami-Dade police said they believe the burglars thought the house was empty when they broke in.

An estimated three thousand mourners attended the Washington Redskins Pro Bowl safety's funeral Monday at Florida International University's arena.

Sean Taylor and his girlfriend, Jackie Garcia (niece of actor Andy Garcia), were awakened by noise coming from the living room early November 26.

The football star got up and locked the bedroom door, but the door was kicked in and two shots were fired, police said. One struck Taylor in the leg, causing the football star severe loss of blood, from which he never recovered.

Jackie Garcia and the couple's 18-month-old daughter, who is also named Jackie, were not hurt during the suspects' intrusion, authorities said.

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Mourners gathered Sunday to mark the life of Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor, as four young men sat in Florida jail cells charged with his murder.

Those coming to pay respects at Taylor's viewing began arriving at Second Baptist Church in Miami over an hour before the public memorial opened.

The service Sunday came hours after a fourth man charged in the shooting death of Taylor appeared in court and, like his co-defendants, was denied bond.

Sean Taylor Suspects

Jason Mitchell, 19, has been charged with Sean Taylor's murder along with three other suspects - Eric Rivera, 17; Charles Wardlow, 18; and Venjah Hunte, 20.

All four face counts of unpremeditated murder, home invasion with a firearm or another deadly weapon and armed burglary. They will be transported to Miami.

Probable cause affidavits for Mitchell and Rivera say the two confessed to armed burglary. According to reports, Mitchell and Rivera admitted entering the home and said someone had a gun and shot Sean Taylor, but they didn't identify who. Police have said some of the young men confessed, but wouldn't elaborate.

Police said the four suspects in the Taylor killing were planning on a simple burglary, but it quickly turned bloody when they were startled to find him home.

Police remain tight-lipped about how the Sean Taylor murder suspects wound up at his home. The Miami Herald reported Mitchell cut the player's lawn and did chores at the house, while Taylor's sister, Sasha, dates Wardlow's cousin.

The Naples Daily News quoted Jason Mitchell's mother as saying that her son was at a birthday party at Taylor's home within the past two months.

Early Monday, Taylor and his longtime girlfriend, Jackie Garcia, were awakened by loud noises at his home. Within moments, someone broke through the bedroom door and fired two shots, one hitting Taylor in the upper leg.

Neither the couple's 18-month-old daughter, also named Jackie, nor Jackie Garcia (the niece of actor Andy Garcia) were injured in the break-in.

The bullet damaged the femoral artery in Taylor's leg, causing major blood loss. He never regained consciousness and died early Tuesday.

In the Washington Redskins' first game since the death of Sean Taylor, the defense fielded 10 men - one man short - for the first play from scrimmage, letting a void in the secondary honor their fallen teammate. The Redskins lost to Buffalo, 17-16.

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Four men have been arrested in the shooting death of NFL player Sean Taylor and say they didn't plan to kill him, Miami-area authorities report.

"[The suspects] were expecting a residence that was not occupied. Murder or shooting someone was not their initial motive," Robert Parker, director of the Miami-Dade Police Department, told the media Friday night.

Just the same, according to police, there have been multiple confessions in the case and the individuals will be charged with murder of Sean Taylor.

"They were certainly not looking to go there and kill anyone," he said. "Their obvious motive was to go there and steal the contents of the house."

The suspects are Venjah K. Hunte, 20; Eric Rivera Jr., 17; Jason Scott Mitchell, 17; and Charles Kendrick Lee Wardlow, 18. Sean Taylor, 24, died in the hospital Tuesday, a day after being shot during an apparent burglary at his home.

Sean Taylor Suspects' Mug Shots

Four suspects have been arrested for the murder of Sean Taylor. Clockwise from top left: Venjah K. Hunte, Eric Rivera, Jason Scott Mitchell and Charles Wardlow.

The men knew the NFL star lived at the house, and police told CNN they are investigating the possibility that one or more suspects knew his family.

At 1:45 a.m. Monday, Taylor's girlfriend and the mother of his daughter, Jackie Garcia (the niece of actor Andy Garcia), called 911 and said someone had been shot.

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Andy Garcia is paying tribute to slain NFL star Sean Taylor, who died this week after being shot inside his Florida home during an apparent break-in.

The actor's niece, Jackie Garcia, was the girlfriend of the Redskins safety and was
there Monday night when they heard loud noises inside Taylor's home.

Jackie Garcia hid in the couple's bedroom with their 18-month-old daughter, also named Jackie, while Sean Taylor, 24, went to investigate the break-in.

The intruder fired at least two shots, one of which struck Sean Taylor in the groin. The assailant then fled as Taylor stumbled back to the bedroom and Jackie Garcia called 911 on her cellphone. The phone lines to Taylor's home had been cut.

Andy Garcia's niece was with Sean Taylor on the fateful night.

"His heroic action on that tragic night saved both of their lives and is a testament to his humanity and courage," Andy Garcia, the star of Ocean's Thirteen, said in a statement to the Miami Herald. "His spirit will live forever, in our hearts and through the legacy of his achievements and the family he leaves behind."

Jackie Garcia and Sean Taylor were high school sweethearts at South Florida's Gulliver Preparatory School and attended the University of Miami together.

"Sean Taylor as known to many as an extraordinary athlete and unquestionable teammate," Andy Garcia, 51, added. "To those of us who had the good fortune to count him as a member of our extended family, we will always remember him as a caring and loving individual."

The Miami-Dade police director said Wednesday that authorities have "no reason to think this was anything other than a burglary or a robbery."

There are no suspects in the murder of Sean Taylor, who died at the hospital after suffering major blood loss and brain damage as a result of the shooting.

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Sean Taylor, the former University of Miami star and Pro Bowl NFL safety with the Washington Redskins who was shot early Monday at his Miami home, has died of a gunshot wound, according to a family friend. He was only 24.

After an intruder entered his home, Taylor was shot and absorbed a bullet to his upper leg. The shot severely damaged a major artery, causing the football star serious blood loss and the loss of consciousness.

According to his former lawyer, Richard Sharpstein, Sean Taylor seemed to show signs of recovery when he squeezed a nurse's hand late Monday night, following surgery, but never regained consciousness thereafter.

"This is just such a tragic, horrible, unnecessary death - another example of the incessant violence in this city and this country," Sharpstein said.

Sean Taylor starred at the University of Miami and with the NFL's Redskins.

Miami-Dade Police are investigating the attack. The police are considering it a possible burglary as Sean Taylor's home was also burglarized eight days prior to the fatal night. A knife was left on the player's bed during that break-in.

Miami-Dade patrol officers first received the call that Sean Taylor had been shot in his house about 1:45 a.m. Monday morning.

Taylor and his girlfriend were startled awake by noises inside his home. Taylor grabbed a machete from underneath his bed and went to investigate.

He didn't get far. An armed intruder fired at least one shot, possibly two. Sean Taylor tumbled back into the bedroom, severely wounded in the groin.

Sharpstein said the couple's baby daughter was also in the bedroom and slept through the shooting. The gunman fled immediately after firing.

"Nothing was stolen. They shot at him and fled," Sharpstein said.

The attorney said phone lines to the home had been cut and that Taylor's girlfriend had to call 911 on a cellphone.

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Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor was shot by an intruder in his home in Miami and has been airlifted to a local hospital where he is in critical condition.

"It could have been a possible burglary, it could have been a possible robbery," Lt. Nancy Perez said. "It has not been confirmed as yet."

Authorities were called to Sean Taylor's home at 1:45 a.m. today. The Miami Herald says that paramedics found Taylor with a gunshot wound to the groin.

Sean Taylor is in critical condition after being shot early today.

A week before Taylor was shot, a burglar broke into his home, rifled through his things, and left a knife on a bed inside the home, police records show.

Eight days later, this morning, noises in the dark spooked Sean Taylor and his girlfriend. It turned out to be their worst nightmare.

At least one armed intruder had broken into the $900,000 Palmetto Bay house and were at his bedroom door. Sean Taylor rose from bed, grabbed a machete, and went to investigate, according to a police source.

Just outside the room, he was then shot in the groin and critically wounded. He collapsed into the room, where he breathed heavily, blood gushing from his body, according to Taylor's lawyer and family friend, Richard Sharpstein.

Someone fired two shots at Sean Taylor, the other bullet missing him. Taylor's girlfriend immediately went to help him. The shooter fled immediately

"Nothing was stolen. They shot at him and fled," said Sharpstein, who was visiting at the hospital. "He is clearly the victim of assault in his own home."

Sean Taylor emerged from surgery at 12:30 p.m. but is unconscious, with his brain at risk of damage from major amounts of blood loss

Taylor is no stranger to guns. Back in 2005, he was accused of brandishing a gun and hitting a man during a fight. Felony charges against him were dropped, and he plead no contest to two misdemeanors. He was given probation.

Much as we make light of the troubles of some athletes, such as Michael Vick, here's hoping Taylor pulls through this and his attackers are tracked down.

Sean Taylor Biography

Sean Taylor Mug Shot Sean Taylor is a safety for the Washington Redskins of the NFL and a former standout at the University of Miami. Sean Taylor has a... More »
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