Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor, facing two felony counts of aggravated assault with a firearm and one misdemeanor charge of battery, has switched to a new defense lawyer. Taylor hired Edward Carhart, a well-known trial lawyer in Miami, to replace Fred Moldovan, who had accompanied the safety when he surrendered to authorities June 4.

"My first impression of Sean Taylor is that he's a nice young man," Carhart said yesterday. "The young man should be presumed innocent, and let's see where the proof takes us. I'm encouraged that the assistant state attorney has assured me he has an open mind, and would like to hear both sides before making a filing decision. You can't ask for anything better than that."

Taylor's arraignment is scheduled for June 24.

Police said that they still haven't made any arrests for shots fired at Taylor's car and at a home that he was in after the safety allegedly pointed a gun at two men he believed stole his two all-terrain vehicles. According to a source with knowledge of the case, Taylor still hasn't filed a police report.

Carhart, a former prosecutor for 10 years, said: "Keep this in mind: It may very well be that Sean Taylor is a victim and not actually a defendant. I don't know if you've ever been shot at but that's not something I'd like to go through."

-- Nunyo Demasio