NFL: Eric Rivera, Jr. Found Guilty of Killing Redskins FS Sean Taylor

Eric Rivera Jr., a 23-year-old man from Florida, was convicted by a state jury of second-degree murder in the case of the late Washington Redskins free safety Sean Taylor.

Nov 5 2013, 7:24pm CST | by

NFL: Eric Rivera, Jr. Found Guilty of Killing Redskins FS Sean Taylor
Photo Credit: www.voanews.com

Eric Rivera, Jr. was convicted by a Florida jury of second-degree murder in the case of the late Washington Redskins free safety Sean Taylor. 

According to ESPN, the jury deliberated for 16 hours over a four-day span and then relayed their verdict to the judge, Miami-Dade Circuit's Dennis Murphy. Rivera reportedly "admitted in a videotaped confession to police days after Taylor's death that he fired the fatal shot after kicking in the bedroom door."  

Rivera, who was also convicted of armed burglary, apparently gave in on the witness stand due to pressure from authorities and threats to his family's safety, per the report. 

There was no display of emotion on his part once the verdict was read by the jury. Both sides -- the Taylor and Rivera clans -- were well-represented in the courtroom, with no reported outbursts. 

In spite of Rivera not being given a first-degree sentence, he could still spend life in prison. 

Other details of that fateful evening were included in the ESPN update.

"In the confession, Rivera said the group of five young men, all from the Fort Myers area, had driven to Taylor's house planning to steal large amounts of cash he kept inside. They thought Taylor, 24, would be out of town at a game against Tampa Bay, but didn't realize until it was too late that he was home with a knee injury

"Taylor's then-girlfriend, Jackie Garcia Haley, and their 18-month-old daughter, were also home at the time. They were not hurt."

The four others were charged accordingly with one of them, identified as Venjah Hunte, already pleading guilty. Hunte has struck an agreement with the prosecution for a 29-year prison sentence. 

Taylor, the fifth overall pick of the 2004 NFL Draft, was murdered on Nov. 24, 2007 from a lone gunshot wound. 

 
 
 


Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.

 

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