Defendant in Taylor Case To Discuss Possible Plea

By Amy Shipley
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 12, 2007

MIAMI, Dec. 11 -- One of the four men charged with first-degree murder and armed burglary in connection with the death of Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor plans to meet with prosecutors next week in Miami to discuss a possible plea deal, his attorney said Tuesday.

Venjah K. Hunte, 20, will meet with prosecutors in the Miami-Dade County state attorney's office Dec. 20, a day before all four men -- Hunte; Jason Scott Mitchell, 19; Charles Kendrick Lee Wardlow, 18; and Eric Rivera Jr., 17 -- are scheduled to be arraigned in Miami-Dade court.

Hunte's attorney, Michael Hornung, said he had a productive meeting over the phone late Monday with the lead prosecutor, Reid Rubin, who indicated he was receptive to cooperation in the case.

"I started the conversation saying my client has a great interest in providing substantial assistance," Hornung said.

According to Hornung, Rubin said prosecutors want willing and honest witnesses, help locating the gun used to shoot Taylor and witnesses to bolster the state's case.

Taylor died Nov. 26, a day after he was shot during what police have called a bungled burglary attempt at his Miami area home.

Hunte and two other defendants could face the death penalty. However, the alleged shooter, Rivera, could face a maximum of a life sentence because he is a juvenile.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company