Eric Rivera, Sean Taylor Killer, Sentenced To 57 Years In Prison

Eric Rivera Jr. has been sentenced to 57 years in prison for the 2007 shooting of Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor. Taylor was at home sleeping with his girlfriend and their infant daughter when a group of burglars broke into their master bedroom. According to the jury, Eric Rivera is responsible for pulling the trigger that killed Sean Taylor.

The robbery was planned when one of Eric Rivera’s friends told his buddies that he had seen Taylor’s sister opening a gift containing a large amount of cash at a birthday party. Speculating that there must be more money at the two time NFL pro bowler’s home, the five young men decided to drive to his Miami home while Taylor was playing a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. What they didn’t know is that Taylor was at home recovering from an injury.

The Miami Herald reported the words of Sean Taylor’s high school sweet heart, Jackie Garcia, read aloud to the judge while awaiting sentencing.

“Every father-daughter day at school, my daughter has an empty seat next to her … because of Mr. Rivera.”

In a videotaped confession played for the jury, Eric Rivera admitted to breaking into the home, kicking down the door, and shooting Taylor. The former University of Miami standout was hit in the femoral artery and pronounced dead at the hospital.

One of the other would be killers, Venjah Hunte, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and burglary charges and is receiving a deal that is worth about 29 years in prison. The other three men involved, Jason Mitchell, Charles Wardlow, and Timothy Brown, are all awaiting trial.

Sean Taylor was one of the most loved defensive backs in Miami history. Because he was a local and such a dominate force on the field, fans adored him.

While there is a sense of justice in the sentencing of Sean Taylor’s killer, Eric Rivera, nothing can replace the loss of a son, boyfriend, father, and hero.