Nearly six years after Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor was shot to death in a home invasion, testimony is underway this afternoon in the trial of one of his alleged killers and among the first to testify is Taylor’s girlfriend, who was with him the night of the shooting.
Jackie Garcia Haley, the mother of Taylor’s daughter, provided a chilling description of the home invasion in which Taylor was fatally shot in the femoral artery. Eric Rivera, 23, faces first-degree murder and armed robbery charges and David Ovalle of the Miami Herald is tweeting updates from the Miami-Dade Circuit Court. In her testimony, Ovalle notes that Garcia Haley said the couple’s Palmetto Bay home still had hurricane shutters up and an alarm system had been installed but wasn’t working. She testified that she, Taylor and their daughter went to bed “around 9 or 10 p.m.”
On cross-examination, she was asked whether Taylor kept a lot of money around the house.
Here’s the link to Ovalle’s full, updating story. Three other men are awaiting trial and another has entered a guilty plea and may be a witness against Rivera.
Jurors heard an opening statement this morning from Assistant State Attorney Ray Araujo, who said that Rivera voluntarily confessed without an attorney present that he shot Taylor as he and four other men broke in to burglarize the home, which they thought was unoccupied. “He describes in detail the plan, how they carried it out, who was involved, everything,” Araujo said. “This defendant confessed to the murder of Sean Taylor, that he committed it.”
Janese Caruthers, Rivera’s lawyer, argued in the opening statement that Rivera was forced “to confess to a crime that he did not commit.”