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Richard Sharpstein's Reaction To Sean's Death Being "Random"

Just got off the phone with Richard Sharpstein, Sean Taylor's former attorney, a family friend and now in essence a family spokesperson. Sharpstein said that he spoke to homicide detectives and is not of the belief that Sean's murder is a "random act" as a police spokesperson said today.

"I still believe and I think some homicide detectives believe, that the burglary eight days earlier is somehow connected to this murder," Sharpstein said.

Many have surmised that Taylor's death may be somehow related to his arrest on weapons charges in 2005 after an incident over stolen ATVs. "Whether or not that incident is connected to this one (Sean's murder), I don't know," Sharpstein said.

Sharpstein, who was a prosecutor for 5 years and an attorney for 28 years, said he believes the perpetrators will eventually be found out through the street, with them bragging to those in the neighborhood and word trickling to police. One of Sean's closest friends, Arizona DB Antel Rolle, told reporters at Cardinals practice today that people from Sean's old neighborhood had been threatening him for three years.

"They say it was a burglary. It absolutely was not a burglary," Rolle said, according to the Associated Press. "Down South, where we're from, there were many people talking to Sean, a lot of jealousy, a lot of angry people. Sean, he had a large group of friends, and he no longer hung out with those friends, so you never know where this came from."

Sharpstein said homicide detectives have told him their investigation is in its "infancy." Sharpstein also said that Taylor's cause of death was from blood loss from the collapse of the femoral artery.

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 28, 2007; 8:04 PM ET
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Next: A Shout Out To Redskins PR/L.Coles Reacts To Sean


I hope they catch whomever did this. It should answer some questions and provide a little bit of closure.

I did not realize how much I loved watching Sean play until this happened.

While I have been reading all of Jason's posts, it has been hard for me to add to the blog over the past few days.

Posted by: CBT | November 28, 2007 8:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure if it would be more tragic if this were a random act of violence or if this were an old associate trying to even the score. While I think knowing would provide some closure to many, both scenarios seem to underscore how tragic Sean's death was. By all accounts, he had turned a corner in his life and was growing and maturing into a great father and person. Really hard to understand any reason for why this would happen now.

As for honoring Sean at Sunday's game, having the D line up for the first play with 10 men (suggested somewhere else in this blog) would be very fitting. My idea would be for the team to keep their uniform numbers but to all wear one name on the back of their jerseys



PS Team could contribute all league fines plus whatever proceeds they earned from auctioning off the jerseys (which would probably be considerable) to a fund for Sean's daughter, a donation to one of many non violence organizations in Sean's memory, etc.

Posted by: argh | November 28, 2007 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Not that they said anything bad but 7:19 on a previous thread was not me. I was at a bar, having a beer with my husband, waiting for my son to finish basketball practice. And I don't use the word "freakin'"

Wow, I'm just a peon here too.....

Posted by: mmok | November 28, 2007 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Jason for all your work and updates. You do a great job, and I always go here first for all Redskin information. RIP Sean and I hope they catch the person who did this. #21 will always be remembered!

Posted by: joeyjcp | November 28, 2007 8:56 PM | Report abuse

This tragedy has invoked an incredible sense of loss in all who became attached to ST including myself. After the ATV incident and the potential 40+ year jail term, I really felt like ST received a 2nd chance to turn things around and it looked like he was well on his way. Fans also got to breath a collective sigh of relief that one of the greats would not be taken from us and now this. How people can have so little regard for the life of another and the pain inflicted on those that love them is incomprehensible. Ultimately, all we can do is move forward but #21 will always hold a special place in my heart. I hope one day that I can have even a fraction of the positive influence on others that ST had on those who loved and admired him.

RIP 21

Posted by: SkinsNplay | November 28, 2007 8:56 PM | Report abuse

mmok--Maybe it was just someone who somehow registered with the same name? Doesn't seem too likely, but it's possible. If they were after you there would have been multiple posts that were designed to be embarassing. No one wants to bother a "peon". (Have you discussed low self-esteem with a professional?)

Posted by: talent_evaluator | November 28, 2007 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Nevermind, mystery solved, my daughter thought she was being cute. Good time, she comes along with us!

Posted by: mmok | November 28, 2007 8:58 PM | Report abuse

You're taking your daughter to a bar for a beer as punishment? Next time I'll sign in as mmok. If you're a peon, does this make her a knave?

Posted by: talent_evaluator | November 28, 2007 9:00 PM | Report abuse

mmok that was a big let down. I thought you was going to say your other son did it as a joke. It would have made me laugh and say boys will be boys.

Posted by: jm220 | November 28, 2007 9:01 PM | Report abuse

TE, She can sit in a corner booth with water and crackers.

Posted by: mmok | November 28, 2007 9:01 PM | Report abuse

jm, I guess girls will be girls?? which is scary. I keep forgetting my kids are getting older and although they don't need to be taken care of as much - they certainly need to be watched!!!!!!!

Posted by: mmok | November 28, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

mmok, I've seen corner booths in bar get used for a lot of interesting stuff, but never for a timeout area. That would have to be a first.


Posted by: argh | November 28, 2007 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Rolle is a very credible source. Wow - he had been threatened for years out of his old neighborhood? That's news...

As they say, for any crime you need motive and opportunity. We are now, perhaps, starting to see a possible motive - jealousy, old scores, and just pure hatred.

Still way too early for any conclusion to even begin to develop however.

Let's just hope they catch the animal that committed this act.

Posted by: gdennie | November 28, 2007 9:05 PM | Report abuse

LOL Adam

Posted by: mmok | November 28, 2007 9:07 PM | Report abuse


I thought what Rolle said substantiates the point Wilbon has been making -- that just because you want out, doesn't mean the others want you out. Rolle's credible, but Wilbon is not, even when they're both saying the same thing.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | November 28, 2007 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Rolle can't be the only one who knew that ST had enemies. There's probably a lot going on behind the scenes that we don't know. Hopefully the facts come to light soon. False information is more exacerbating than hearing nothing at all. I definitely wouldn't classify this act as "random" based on initial investigation when a KNIFE was found on the bed after the previous break in.

Posted by: SkinsNplay | November 28, 2007 9:28 PM | Report abuse

If what Rolle says is true, that he'd been a target for three years, that's chilling.

Posted by: mmok | November 28, 2007 9:31 PM | Report abuse

This is what Wilbon wrote this morning about Taylor and his Miami crowd: "People close to Taylor, people he trusted to advise him, told him he'd be better off if he left South Florida, that anybody looking for him could find him in the suburbs of Miami just as easily as they could have found him at the U a few years ago. I'm told that Taylor was told to go north, to forget about Miami."

Posted by: talent_evaluator | November 28, 2007 9:35 PM | Report abuse

Who knows what really happened on the November 18 break-in.

I have heard three different versions of the knife story on three different networks. 1) "A kitchen knife was found on a pillow on the bed," 2) "a kitchen knife was found on the bed" and 3) "a kitchen knife was found in the bedroom."

Also, I heard an air conditioning vent was tampered with in the first break-in.

Truly bizarre.

Posted by: MrRedskin21 | November 28, 2007 9:39 PM | Report abuse

If anyone is planning on coming down to Miami, give me a holler. I live near FIU (actually, I'm a graduate student there), where the funeral is being held.

Posted by: gringoinmiami | November 28, 2007 9:43 PM | Report abuse

gringo--Are you going to the funeral? I would love to see it. It promises to be quite an event.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | November 28, 2007 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Skins fans. I'm over on the west coast of Florida near Fort Myers. Trying to get Monday clear so I can attend the funeral.

Hope all of you are hanging in there. Keep this chant in mind for Sunday...SEAN "T" SEAN "T" SEAN "T" SEAN "T" SEAN "T" SEAN "T"

I posted this on an earlier blog entry..thought some of you might like it.

I've decided to switch some of the lyrics around to the Redskins fight song to honor #21. If anyone's offended..get over it. :)

Hail to the Redskins!
Hail Sean Taylor!
He's on the Warpath!
Fight for the 2-1!
Run or pass or score - he hit a lot more!
Beat'em, Swamp'em, Touchdown - left opponents soar.
Fight on Fight on Till you have won Number Twenty One - Rah! Rah! Rah!

Hail to the Redskins!
Hail Sean Taylor!
He's on the Warpath!
Fight for the 2-1!

R.I.P. Sean Taylor. You'll be missed.

Posted by: Jonamath | November 28, 2007 9:52 PM | Report abuse


cosmofla here. trying to get to miami for the service. How difficult do you think it will be to get parking and get in to the arena?

Posted by: squashmo | November 28, 2007 10:17 PM | Report abuse

yes, I will be there. unfortunately I'm teaching a class that finishes right when the funeral is scheduled to start, so I'll get there a little bit late. I say unfortunately because I imagine the place is going to be packed, not that I think it will actually start on time (there's something called Miami time which is a bit later than standard time).

Posted by: gringoinmiami | November 28, 2007 10:17 PM | Report abuse


hard to say about parking. my guess is it will be a bit difficult, but if you are able to get to the campus early, say a half-hour to an hour before the funeral services, you should find a spot--not necessarily a stone's throw from the arena, but within walking distance.

As far as getting in to the arena, I don't think it should be a problem, especially if you're there a bit early. Then again, I have no idea how many people will actually be showing up. The official seating capacity is 5,000 so I would imagine you should be able to get in.

Posted by: gringoinmiami | November 28, 2007 10:28 PM | Report abuse

What can i say about Sean ive watched him ever since he was at the U he's been my favorite player my favorite sports figure for a while now and its still hard to grasp the fact that hes gone and we will never get to see him again. I get really angry when i see the coverage of sportcenter for say and all they do is talk about the beginning of his career when he had his little run ins with the law but that wasnt who Sean was and thats not how they should be portraying this man, I just dont like that fact that they seem to want to only see the bad and not the good this man died and thats what they want to say that oh this wasnt a suprise like M. Wilbon says for espn thats just crazy man Sean was a good guy and was going to be one of the greatest players in the history of the game at the position its a shame we lost him so early that was my boy. We need to find out who did this and the gov should get involved just like they got involved trying to put M. Vick in jail the same time and effort should be put in to this but only time will tell. heartbroken Fan MH

Posted by: mhuds21 | November 29, 2007 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Gringo.

I'll be there with my Skins gear...have not been able to find a Taylor jersey.


Posted by: squashmo | November 29, 2007 8:25 AM | Report abuse

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