After years of trial delays and four days of juror deliberation, a verdict has finally been delivered in the Sean Taylor murder case. The jury found Eric Rivera Jr. guilty of the second-degree murder of the late Miami Hurricanes and Washington Redskins star.
Rivera, who was 17 at the time, and four friends from the Ft. Myers area hatched a scheme back in 2007 to burgle Taylor's Palmetto Bay home. Rivera had known Taylor's sister and once saw Taylor hand over a large amount of cash to her at a birthday party. They believed that Taylor would not be at home because the Redskins were playing that night, but Taylor was actually secretly in town recovering from an injury.
The five broke into the house and found Taylor, his girlfriend and their child sleeping inside. Rivera, the gunman, ending up shooting Taylor in the femoral artery. He died later at the hospital due to blood loss.
Rivera could now face life in jail.
Rivera admitted to police on camera that he was responsible for the shooting, but his defense team countered that he was pressured to make the admission by overzealous investigators.
The jury was reportedly conflicted early on about the case, and asked to review several pieces of evidence while deliberating. A law book was found in the deliberation room late last week, but Rivera's attorneys did not ask for a mistrial.
Venjah Hunte, another defendant, has previously plead guilty. Jason Scott Mitchell, Charles Kendrick Lee Wardlow and Timothy Brown are still awaiting trial more than six years after Taylor's death.
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