By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 4, 2006
The attorneys for the Washington Redskins' Sean Taylor intend to file a motion to dismiss the felony assault charges against the safety during a hearing today, while the prosecution contends there are insufficient grounds for such a request.
Taylor was charged with three counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon last year, each of which can carry a three-year mandatory minimum sentence. He is scheduled for an April 10 trial. Richard Sharpstein, one of three lawyers representing Taylor, said he was finalizing the motion last night.
Sharpstein said that alleged victims in the case have been arrested for thefts, drug possession and other charges within Dade County (Fla.) since the incident with Taylor, and that the prosecution failed to present this information to them as is their obligation; prosecutor Mike Grieco said he was unaware of the arrests until the defense presented the information, and is confident the case will go to trial as scheduled.
"We are filing our motion to dismiss for prosecutorial misconduct for Grieco's failure to provide us with a mountain of evidence dealing with the recent criminal past histories of the so-called victims and witnesses in this case," Sharpstein said. "We'll ask the judge to dismiss, and if she doesn't dismiss the case, we'll ask the state attorney to reconsider the case based on these developments."
Grieco said that it is impossible to check the ongoing status of all victims and witnesses in such a heavily populated county. He was aware of the defense's intent to file this motion and said that he is not "losing any sleep."
"Once this kind of information comes to my attention I have an obligation to turn it over," Grieco said, "but only once that information comes to my attention. And it was never brought to my attention. Somebody in law enforcement knew, but it's a big county and there are hundreds of arrests every day, and I was unaware of any of this."
Sharpstein said that the three primary alleged victims have all had recent arrests that the defense uncovered during its own investigation, including one involving a stolen all-terrain vehicle. Taylor has claimed that the victims in his case fired on his property and stole two all-terrain vehicles from him. Grieco did not dispute the information Sharpstein provided concerning the arrests, but said he does not anticipate a plea bargain.
"I believe this case will only resolve itself by trial at this point," Grieco said.
Redskins Note : The team announced it has signed free agent cornerback Kenny Wright, prompting free agent corner Jamar Fletcher to cancel yesterday's scheduled visit to Washington. Details of the contract were not immediately available.
The Redskins have been seeking a nickel back, and brought in Wright for a visit last month. Wright, 28, is a seven-year veteran who spent last season with Jacksonville, starting all 16 games and getting two interceptions.
Washington has two strong starting corners -- veteran Shawn Springs and 2005 first-round pick Carlos Rogers -- but is seeking depth. Gregg Williams, assistant head coach-defense, often uses three cornerbacks, and nickel back Walt Harris had been released.
Wright was drafted in the fourth round (120th overall) by Minnesota in 1999, and spent three seasons with the Vikings and three with Houston before joining Jacksonville in 2005. He has three sacks and six interceptions in 110 career regular season games.