Convicted killer of NFL's Sean Taylor gets 57.5 years in prison

Jan. 23, 2014 at 3:25 PM
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MIAMI, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Eric Rivera Jr. was sentenced to 57.5 years in prison in Miami Thursday after his conviction in the 2007 death of football player Sean Taylor.

Rivera, 23, was found guilty in November of shooting Taylor, who played safety for the NFL Washington Redskins, in a botched robbery at Taylor's home in Palmetto Bay, Fla.

Prosecutors said Rivera shot and killed Taylor when he and four friends, not aware Taylor was at home, broke into the home in a robbery attempt.

Rivera admitted in a videotaped confession to Miami-Dade County detectives he shot Taylor, and was initially charged with first-degree murder, but jurors in the 11-day trial in 2013 would not unanimously agree Rivera pulled the trigger. Instead, Rivera was convicted of second-degree murder without a firearm and armed burglary.

In testimony Rivera insisted detectives coerced him into a confession, and claimed he only tagged along with his friends on the night of the incident, and never entered Taylor's home, the Miami Herald said.

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