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Teen accused in Taylor shooting might be eyeing deal

An attorney for the 17-year-old accused of shooting and killing Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor wants to work with prosecutors to resolve the case.

An attorney for the 17-year-old accused of shooting and killing Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor wants to work with prosecutors to resolve the case.

Sawyer Smith, who is representing Eric Rivera, said yesterday his client was admitting no wrongdoing yet.

"When the State Attorney's Office is ready, we would like to sit down and begin discussion with them so we can move toward a resolution in the case that has the best interest of all parties in mind," Smith said. "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."

Smith added: "Plea negotiations are typical in criminal cases. However, we don't know when or if that will occur."

Circuit Judge John Thornton Jr. denied Rivera bail yesterday in his brief appearance via videoconference in a Miami-Dade County courtroom. Three codefendants were denied bail a day earlier.

All four - Rivera; Charles Wardlow, 18; Jason Mitchell, 19; and Venjah Hunte, 20 - have been charged with first-degree felony murder and armed burglary. Their arraignments are set for Dec. 21.

Richard Sharpstein, Taylor's former lawyer, said he expected all to be "severely punished."

Taylor, 24, 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.

Wardlow's attorney, David Brener, distanced his client's actions from those of Rivera and said he expected to go to trial.

"I believe that the acts of Mr. Rivera, who was the shooter of this case, constitute an independent act," Brener said Wednesday. "My client never contemplated that Mr. Rivera was going to arm himself or use lethal force against Mr. Taylor."

Meanwhile, Taylor leads the Pro Bowl voting at his position, according to tallies released by the NFL. Taylor had 187,064 votes from fans as of Nov. 13, tops among free safeties in the NFC.

Also profits from the sale of No. 21 jerseys and other Sean Taylor items at official Redskins stores will go toward a trust fund for his 1-year-old daughter, Jackie.


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* Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre was back at practice but wasn't quite ready to test his bruised elbow, tingling throwing hand and tender shoulder. Meanwhile, it was learned Green Bay Packers backup quarterback Aaron Rodgers could be unavailable for Sunday's game with Oakland. Favre is expected to start Sunday and if Rodgers is out, Craig Nall would be the backup.

* St. Louis quarterback Marc Bulger was back at practice after sitting out last week's game with a concussion. Bulger is expected to start Sunday when the Rams (3-9) travel to Cincinnati to play the Bengals (4-8).

* New England's dramatic comeback win over Baltimore on Monday night attracted the largest audience ever for a cable program. The game on ESPN averaged more than 12.5 million homes and 17.5 million viewers.

* The Browns lost one of their top special teams players, placing linebacker Kris Griffin on injured reserve.

* The arraignment in Las Vegas of Adam "Pacman" Jones was rescheduled for today because a codefendant missed a flight and was unable to attend the hearing. The suspended NFL player was expected to plead no contest to a reduced charge in a Las Vegas strip-club melee in February that preceded a triple shooting, leaving a man paralyzed. *