'Easy cash' was motive in killing NFL's Sean Taylor, jury told

Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:35pm EDT
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By Zachary Fagenson

MIAMI (Reuters) - A man accused of murdering Washington Redskins' defensive star Sean Taylor hatched a plot with friends to "score some easy cash" by robbing the NFL player's home, a Miami prosecutor told jurors in his trial on Monday.

Defendant Eric Rivera is accused of firing the gunshot that killed Taylor, 24, in November 2007 and faces up to life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder and armed burglary.

Prosecutors said Rivera and four friends hatched a burglary plot after one of the group visited Taylor's Miami-area home for a birthday party and saw the football player give his sister $10,000 in cash. The suspects, who are from the Fort Myers area on Florida's Gulf coast, figured there was more money in the home, state attorney Ray Araujo said in opening statements.

"The plan was drive a few hours, break into the house and find the money," said Araujo, who described Taylor as an all-star football player as well as "a father, a brother, a boyfriend."

The intruders did not expect to find Taylor at home because the Redskins were playing a game that night, investigators said. Taylor was home with an injury.

Rivera allegedly kicked in the door of Taylor's bedroom finding him, his girlfriend and their baby daughter asleep.

A confrontation ensued and Taylor was shot in the groin, severing his femoral artery. He suffered massive blood loss and died at a hospital a day later.

"Sean Taylor, defending himself, his family, his home, was shot by this defendant," Araujo said pointing at Rivera.   Continued...

Workers unveil a banner of Washington Redskins slain player Sean Taylor as Taylor is inducted into the Redskins Ring of Honor prior to their NFL football game against the New York Giants in Landover, Maryland, November 30, 2008.