Sean Taylor Murder Trial: Jury Selection Begins for Eric Rivera, Man Charged in Fatal Shooting

Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013  |  Updated 1:00 AM EDT
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Jury selection has begun in the murder trial of Sean Taylor, who was shot to death inside his Miami-area home in 2007. Eric Rivera is charged with first-degree murder in the death.

Jury selection has begun in the murder trial of Sean Taylor, who was shot to death inside his Miami-area home in 2007. Eric Rivera is charged with first-degree murder in the death.

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Jury selection began Tuesday for the man charged in the 2007 murder of NFL star Sean Taylor in Miami.

Eric Rivera, 23, is charged with first-degree murder and burglary with assault or battery in the death of Taylor, who was killed during what prosecutors say was a botched robbery at his Miami-area home.

Taylor, a two-time Pro Bowl safety for the Washington Redskins, had starred at the University of Miami, helping the Hurricanes to the national championship in 2001.

Lawyers questioned dozens of potential jurors Tuesday. Jury selection is expected to take about four days. Rivera's trial has been delayed several times.


Rivera and three others, all from the Fort Myers area, have pleaded not guilty and are being tried separately. Each faces a possible life sentence if convicted.

A fifth man previously pleaded guilty to murder and burglary charges and is likely to testify against the others.

Prosecutors say the suspects drove across the state intending to burglarize Taylor's Palmetto Bay home, confident he wouldn't be there. But Taylor, an All-Pro safety, was at home, nursing an injury instead of taking the field with his teammates for a road game at Tampa.


When the 6-foot-2, 230-pound player – well known as a ferocious hitter – confronted them with a machete early on Nov. 26, 2007, Rivera allegedly fired two shots. One missed. The other hit Taylor in the upper leg, causing massive blood loss that led to his death a day later at age 24.

Because Rivera, now 23, was only 17 at the time of the crime, he faces life in prison instead of the death penalty if convicted. 

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