Appeals court allows closed hearing in Taylor case

A Florida appeals court has ruled against several media

companies seeking to open a key pretrial hearing in the slaying of

former Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor.

The appeals judges sided with Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Dennis

Murphy, who closed Friday’s hearing to avoid undue publicity that

might influence potential jurors. The hearing involved whether

statements made by suspects in Taylor’s November 2007 killing can

be used a trial.

Taylor was shot during a burglary attempt at his Miami-area

home. Four Fort Myers-area men are charged in the slaying, while a

fifth has pleaded guilty and is expected to testify against the

others. A trial date has not yet been set.

Taylor was a star safety at the University of Miami and later

with the NFL’s Redskins.