Friday, January 19, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Man convicted in Taylor's slaying

MIAMI — A 23-year-old man was convicted of second-degree murder Monday in the 2007 slaying of Redskins safety Sean Taylor, a former University of Miami star who was shot outside his bedroom after witnesses said he confronted young men who had broken into his home looking for money.

Eric Rivera Jr. admitted in a confession to police days after Taylor's death that he fired the fatal shot. During the trial, Rivera said his confession was given only under police pressure.

Rivera was also convicted of armed burglary. He did not get the maximum first-degree murder conviction but still faces a potential life prison sentence. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Dennis Murphy did not set a sentencing date but will hold a hearing Dec. 10.

Neither prosecutors, Taylor's family nor the family of his girlfriend commented, nor did Rivera's family or lawyers. Taylor's then-girlfriend, Jackie Garcia Haley, and their 18-month-old daughter were home when Taylor was shot. They were not hurt.

Four other men were also charged in the case. Venjah Hunte, 25, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and burglary; the other three will be tried later.

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