Suspects involved earlier in Taylor break-in

Dec 6, 2007 - 4:05 PM NEW YORK (Ticker) -- At least two of the four men charged in the murder of Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor were involved in a burglary of his Miami-area home eight days before his fatal shooting, the New York Times reported on its web site.

According to the report, football memorabilia and large amounts of cash were found in at least one of the suspects' homes.

Richard Sharpenstein, Taylor's former lawyer, told the Times he was aware of the connection.

"This wasn't a random burglary," he told the newspaper. "This was a dime-a-dozen wannabe criminal who has been to the house before. They stole his life thinking they were going to steal a few dollars from him."

In an earlier break-in at Taylor's home on November 17, someone pried open a front window, rifled through drawers and left a knife on a bed.

Eric Rivera, 17; Jason Mitchell, 19; Charles Wardlow, 18; and Venjah Hunte, 20, have been charged with first-degree felony murder and armed burglary. Their arraignments are December 21.

In the grand jury indictment, Rivera, who will be tried as an adult, was identified as the shooter.

Taylor, 24, died November 27, a day after he was shot in his bedroom in what police described as a burglary gone bad.

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