News

Trial of accused killer of NFL’s Sean Taylor set to begin

Trial of accused killer of NFL’s Sean Taylor set to begin

REMEMBERING TAYLOR: Fans leave remembrances at a painted number 21, the number of the late Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylo,r on the grass at the site of a memorial outside of FedEx Stadium before the Redskins/Buffalo Bills football game, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2007 in Landover, Md. Photo: Associated Press/AP Photo/Nick Wass

MIAMI (Reuters) – Jury selection is due to begin in Miami on Tuesday in the trial of the man accused of being the triggerman in the killing of Washington Redskins star defensive player Sean Taylor in 2007.

Taylor, a University of Miami standout chosen by the Redskins in the 2004 National Football League draft, was killed during an attempted burglary at his home south of Miami, in the Palmetto Bay area.

Intruders broke into Taylor’s home and one of them shot him in the groin during a confrontation. He suffered massive blood loss and died at a hospital a day later.

Prosecutors have accused Eric Rivera, 23, of firing the fatal shot. He was charged with first-degree murder and armed burglary, and could face life in prison if convicted.

Rivera is one of five defendants charged with murder, home invasion and burglary and will be the first to face a jury.

One defendant, Venjah Hunte, 25, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 2010 and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. Still awaiting trial are Charles Wardlow, 24; Jason Scott Mitchell, 25 and Timothy Brown, 22.

The defendants were arrested in Fort Myers, Florida, a few days after the shooting. Investigators said at that time that the intruders had planned to burglarize Taylor’s house and were surprised to find him there.

The Miami Herald reported that jury selection was due to begin on Tuesday before Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Dennis Murphy, who has imposed a gag order on prosecutors and defense lawyers to reduce pretrial publicity that could make it harder to find unbiased jurors.

Courts were closed on Monday for the Columbus Day holiday.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment: March 4

Fresh
john-lennon

A look at the Hollywood headlines of years past.

in Music

WATCH: Kelly Clarkson duets with Jimmy Fallon

20-overlay

After saying that singers "avoid" duets with her, the "American Idol" star finally found a partner.

in Music

Carrie Underwood is a mom

carrieunderwoodmikefisher

The singer welcomed her first child with husband Mike Fisher.

in Music

Miranda Lambert, touring partners get matching tattoos

mirandalambert

The country star gets a permanent reminder of her time on the road.

in Music

Lars Ulrich celebrates final days as a bachelor

ulrichmiller

The Metallica rocker celebrated his upcoming wedding with Bradley Cooper, Sir Ian McKellen, and his bandmates.