Rivera sentenced to 57 and a half years for murder of Redskins star Sean Taylor
MIAMI (CBSMiami/CNN wire) – After 16 hours of deliberations over four days, a jury sentenced Eric Rivera to 57 and a half years in prison for the murder of Washington Redskins star Sean Taylor
Eric Rivera Jr., 23, was found guilty last November of second degree murder for the shooting death of Taylor during a botched burglary in 2007.
The death penalty was not an option because Rivera was a teenager at the time of the murder, reports CBS Miami.
Rivera had faced charges of 1st degree murder that would land him in jail for life, but the jury convicted him on the lesser included charge of second-degree murder, manslaughter, burglary with a battery, and trespassing.
Taylor, who played defense for the University of Miami and the Washington Redskins, was fatally shot during the failed burglary by a group of young men from Fort Myers.
The group, mostly teens at the time, said they hoped to get tens of thousands of dollars in cash.
According to testimony the group also mistakenly believed that no one would be home, because Taylor had a football game that Thanksgiving weekend. An injury, however, kept him away from the game.
The evidence against Rivera included a tennis shoe print on the kicked in door of Taylor’s bedroom that matches shoes Rivera was wearing, cell phone records that put Rivera in the area, testimony from acquaintances from Fort Myers and that videotaped confession that Rivera gave police.