MIAMI – At least one suspect charged in the killing of Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor was part of an earlier break-in at the player's home, according to newspaper reports.
Investigators believe they have connected a single suspect to the Nov. 18 break-in at Taylor's suburban Miami home, The Miami Herald reported. The Herald cited unnamed law enforcement sources who were familiar with the Taylor case.
The link between the Nov. 18 and Nov. 26 break-ins was also noted in The New York Times, which reported at least two of the suspects in Taylor's killing had participated in the earlier crime.
Detective Mario Rachid of the Miami-Dade Police Department said Thursday he could not confirm the connection.
"They're still actively working," he said of investigators.
Taylor died Nov. 27, a day after he was shot in the bedroom of his home. Police have said the 24-year-old player was a victim of a botched burglary.
Jason Mitchell, 19, Charles Wardlow, 18, Eric Rivera, 17, and Venjah Hunte, 20, have been charged with first-degree felony murder and armed burglary.
Eight days before the shooting, someone pried open a front window at Taylor's home, rifled through drawers and left a kitchen knife on a bed.
Michael Hornung, the attorney for Hunte, said Thursday his client had never been to Taylor's house before Nov. 26. Landon Miller, Mitchell's attorney, said he was aware of the allegations but could not comment. Sawyer Smith, one of Rivera's attorneys, said he could not comment.
David Brener, the attorney for Wardlow, did not return a call Thursday seeking comment.
Richard Sharpstein, Taylor's former attorney, said he had heard rumors of the link since the athlete was shot, but that he had heard no confirmation.
All four suspects have been denied bail. Their arraignments are scheduled for Dec. 21.