The co-defendant in the criminal case involving Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor planned to decide by today whether to testify against Taylor as part of a plea deal with the Miami-Dade state attorney's office, according to his attorney.
Ongoing discussions about a possible plea deal necessitated the second postponement of a preliminary hearing for Charles Elwood Caughman yesterday in Miami. The hearing was moved to this morning, and is expected to take place shortly before a preliminary hearing for Taylor in a separate courtroom of the Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building.
Evan Hoffman, Caughman's attorney, said his client was considering all options, including going to trial and accepting a plea deal that would not involve being added to the prosecution's witness list in the Taylor case. Miami-Dade assistant state attorney Mike Grieco is prosecuting both cases.
"There are a lot of issues," Hoffman said moments after a brief appearance in front of Miami-Dade circuit judge Peter Adrien. "We could theoretically close our case [today]. . . . We have to figure out if we can do things on our terms."
Hoffman said by cell phone that, at the end of the business day, his client remained undecided. "It's going to be an 11th-hour decision," he said.
Caughman's decision could have a significant impact on Taylor's case in front of judge Mary Barzee. Taylor, 22, faces a felony charge of aggravated assault with a firearm and a misdemeanor charge of simple battery stemming from a June 1 altercation in Miami over Taylor's two stolen all-terrain vehicles. According to police reports, a violent confrontation took place after Taylor accused two men of stealing the vehicles.
Taylor, who entered a written not-guilty plea to the charges, is required to appear at today's hearing with his attorney, Edward Carhart.
Caughman, 19, of Baltimore, has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly wielding a bat during the incident.
-- Amy Shipley