Sean Taylor: Trial date set for alleged shooter

Sean Taylor in a November 2007 game. (Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post)

Sean Taylor in a November 2007 game. (Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post)

The day after what would have been Sean Taylor’s 30th birthday, a new trial date was set in Miami for the man who allegedly shot him to death in November 2007.

After a number of postponements, Eric Rivera Jr., 22, will stand trial Aug. 12, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Dennis Murphy said Tuesday (via the Associated Press).

The Washington Redskins’ safety, who grew up and lived in the Miami area, died Nov. 27, 2007, the day after he was shot during what is believed to have been a robbery at his Miami-area home. Taylor was recovering from a knee injury at his Palmetto Bay home and was not with the team.

Three other men, who are, like Rivera, from the Fort Myers area, have entered not-guilty pleas and are being tried separately. A fifth man, Venjah Hunte, previously pleaded guilty to murder and burglary charges in 2008. He is expected to testify against the other men. In a letter to Nathan Fenno of the Washington Times earlier this year, he wrote:

“To begin, I would like to send my deepest apology to the family of Sean Taylor. I know an apology won’t bring him back, but I hope one day they could find it in their hearts to forgive me. …

“My thought or intentions weren’t to hurt him or noone [sic] else, let alone murder, it was something I thought would never happen. Even though I didn’t pull the trigger I still have to take responsibility for my actions. Period.”

Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, like many Redskins fans, paused to remember Taylor on Monday. “Happy Birthday Sean Taylor…,” RGIII tweeted, “1 of the Greatest Redskins I never got the chance to meet in this life but will in the next.”

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

Mike Wise: Five years later, so many questions remain

Also on The Early Lead

Andy Enfield named USC coach; will success follow him?