Taylor defendant wants to change plea

Aug. 7, 2009 at 9:25 AM
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MIAMI, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- A defendant in the slaying of NFL star Sean Taylor said he didn't understand terms of his deal with prosecutors in Miami and wants to rescind his guilty plea.

A Miami-Dade judge was to hear testimony Friday in the case of Venjah Hunte, 21, who drove a group of men from Fort Myers, Fla., to Miami for a botched burglary that ended in the death of Taylor, who played for the Washington Redskins and the University of Miami.

Taylor was shot in the groin during the robbery of his Palmetto Bay and died in the hospital.

Hunte said he didn't understand the deal reached with prosecutors and in June his attorneys filed a motion to vacate his plea. If Hunte violates terms of his agreement by not testifying against others, he could be sentenced to life in prison, The Miami Herald reported.

The court has waived attorney-client privilege for Hunte's former lawyer, Michael Hornung, who was expected to testify Friday. Hunte said Hornung gave him "ineffective representation" leading to the plea agreement.

Defendants Eric Rivera, 19, the accused gunman; Jason Mitchell, 21; Charles Wardlow, 20, and Timmy Lee Brown, 18, are in jail awaiting trial on murder charges.

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