MIAMI - The 17-year-old suspect in the death of Redskins cornerback Sean Taylor was accused yesterday of firing the shot that killed the Washington Redskins safety.
A Miami-Dade grand jury identified Eric Rivera as the gunman in its indictment.
Rivera and his three codefendants were indicted by the grand jury on charges of first-degree felony murder and armed burglary.
Charles Wardlow, 18; Jason Mitchell, 19; and Venjah Hunte, 20 were ordered held without bail during brief court appearances via a videoconference from Miami-Dade County jail. The three, who stood silently during the hearing, will remain at the jail under suicide watch after Judge John Thornton Jr.'s ruling.
Rivera, still in custody in Fort Myers, was expected to be transported to Miami-Dade last night and make a court appearance today. One of his attorneys said the grand jury's identification of Rivera as the gunman was expected.
"This does not come as a surprise," said Sawyer Smith, who represents Rivera along with his father, Wilbur.
The 24-year-old Taylor died Nov. 27, a day after he was shot in the bedroom of his home. Police have said he was a victim of a botched burglary.
"I think he's in disbelief over what occurred," Wilbur Smith said of Rivera. "His expression to me was that 'I can't believe this kind of thing happened.' "
Asked how he would defend his client, Wilbur Smith said simply: "Stay tuned."
Attorneys said the four young men were agitated.
"He's very distraught," said Hunte's attorney, Michael Hornung. "He's scared."
Hornung offered glimpses of his client's possible involvement. He said Hunte was the only suspect 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.
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 also have said some of the young men confessed, though they wouldn't elaborate.
The court proceedings came a day after Taylor's funeral, which was held at a university arena and drew about 3,000 mourners. Among those attending were NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, 300 members of the Redskins organization and actor Andy Garcia, uncle of Taylor's girlfriend, Jackie Garcia.