Sean Taylor trail commences tomorrow
Is justice finally near for the family of former Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor? Possibly so.
Nearly six years after Sean Taylor was tragically gunned down inside his Miami home, the alleged gunman, Eric Rivera, Jr., is set to go on trial tomorrow. Numerous delays, granting of continuances, etc… have put off the trial for so long.
Rivera, along with four others, broke into Taylor’s house in November of 2007,. To their surprise, Taylor was home, and in darkness, the gun was fired, wounding Taylor in his leg, but severing a critical artery. Taylor died in the hospital the next day.
Here are more details.
Rivera, 23, is facing life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder and armed burglary, Awaiting future trials: Charles Wardlow, 24, Jason Scott Mitchell, 25, and Timothy Brown, 22. The fifth defendant, Venjah Hunte, 25, already has pleaded guilty and may testify against the others.
Scheduling conflicts and Rivera switching attorneys several times have delayed court-room proceedings. Police, lawyers and even Taylor’s relatives have been prohibited from speaking to the media because of a gag order issued by Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Dennis Murphy soon after the arrests.
On the night of Nov. 25, 2007, police believe the group — all teen-agers at the time — drove in a rented SUV to Miami. At about 1:40 a.m. the next morning, they broke into the home looking for a stash of cash, according to police reports.
Rivera, according to police reports, kicked in the master bedroom door where Taylor and his girlfriend were sleeping alongside their infant son. Taylor grabbed a machete he kept near the bed and charged. Rivera, police believe, shot Taylor in the groin before escaping. The football player was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he died the following day.
Taylor’s family attorney is pleased the trial is about to get underway.
“It is sometimes said that justice delayed is justice denied,” said the Taylor family lawyer, Richard Sharpstein. “But in this case, it’s better late than never and justice will be delivered. The Taylor family has full confidence in Judge Murphy and the prosecution team.”
Jury selection is expected to take the entire week.