Pro Bowl safety Sean Taylor at the Giants-Redskins game in 2006. (Jonathan Newton/Washington Post)

Taylor was killed on November 27, 2007, at the peak of his career, when he was shot in the leg while confronting intruders in the South Miami home where he had been asleep with his girlfriend and their daughter.

Four men from Fort Myers, Fla. --  Eric Rivera, Jason Scott Mitchell, Charles K. Wardlow, and Timmy Lee Brown -- face first-degree murder and armed burglary charges in connection with Taylor’s death. Another defendant, Venjah Hunte, pleaded guilty and is expected to testify against the others.

None of the defendants appeared in court Thursday. Murphy has issued a gag order on people involved in the case that bars attorneys and Taylor’s family from commenting on the upcoming trial.

More than 40 subpoenas have been issued for the start of the trial.