Three men were held without bail on Tuesday in the killing of Sean Taylor, placed on a suicide watch and described as extremely distraught a day after thousands mourned at the funeral of the NFL star.
Charles Wardlow, 18, Jason Mitchell, 19, and Venjah Hunte, 20, appeared briefly by videoconference from Miami-Dade County jail, where they will remain after Judge John Thornton's ruling.
The three stood silently during the hearing. They were seen on video wearing special garments designed to keep them from using the clothes to make a noose.
Taylor died on Nov. 27, barely 24 hours after he was shot in the bedroom of his home a few kilometers from where he grew up. Police say he was a victim of a botched burglary.
The three suspects and a fourth one, Eric Rivera, 17, were all indicted by a Miami-Dade grand jury on Tuesday on charges of first-degree felony murder and armed burglary. Rivera was being transported from Fort Myers to Miami-Dade on Tuesday night and was to make a court appearance yesterday morning. One of his attorneys said the grand jury's identification of Rivera as the gunman was expected.
Attorneys said all the men were agitated and jail officials confirmed that those denied bail were under suicide watch.
Hunte's attorney, Michael Hornung, offered glimpses of his client's possible involvement. He said Hunte was the only one of the suspects with a valid driver's license and behind the wheel at least part of the time. He said Hunte did not have a gun and did not know his friends' plans.
Hunte is cooperating with police, his attorney said, and would tell them everything he knows.
Probable cause affidavits for Mitchell and Rivera said the two confessed to participating in armed burglary. According to the reports, Mitchell and Rivera admitted entering the home and said someone had a gun and shot Taylor, but they didn't identify who. Police and attorneys have also said some of the young men confessed, though they wouldn't elaborate.
David Brener, Wardlow's attorney, did not return a phone message. Another lawyer has said there is a fifth suspect police are seeking, though police would not confirm that.
The court proceedings came a day after Taylor's funeral, which was held at a university arena and drew approximately 3,000 mourners. Among those attending were NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, 300 members of the Washington Redskins organization, O.J. Simpson, the Reverend Jesse Jackson and actor Andy Garcia.
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