Eric Rivera was sentenced to 57.5 years for the killing of Sean Taylor. (AP Photo/The Miami Herald, Walter Michot)
The man convicted of murdering former Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor six years ago was sentenced Thursday to 57.5 years in prison, reports David Ovalle of the Miami Herald.
Eric Rivera, 23, was convicted of second-degree murder and armed robbery in November after shooting Taylor during a burglary at his South Florida home in 2007.
Rivera and four others broke into Taylor's home looking to steal cash from the bedroom, but Taylor was home at the time, sleeping next to his girlfriend and infant daughter. Rivera told police Taylor was shot after confronting them with a machete.
Jurors deliberated for four days but could not agree unanimously that Rivera shot Taylor.
Three of the other four accused men have pleaded not guilty to murder charges and are currently awaiting trial. The fourth man pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is serving 29 years in prison.
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During the 11-day trial, jurors heard that Rivera and four other pals drove across Alligator Alley intent on raiding the thousands of dollars in cash they thought Taylor kept in his house on Old Cutler Road. One of the men had attended a birthday party there for Taylor's sister — and saw her open a gift of $10,000 tucked into a new purse.
Prosecutors also pointed to a letter Rivera penned in jail to a cousin, asking him to pressure a key prosecution witness to change her testimony. Cell phone records tracked Rivera and the group’s phone calls from the West Coast to the area near Taylor’s home.