Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida
By ASSOCIATED PRESS  |  Last updated 10/24/13

SEATTLE - JANUARY 05: Washington Redskins fans hold up a Sean Taylor jersey before the Redskins take on the Seattle Seahawks during the NFC Wild Card game at Qwest Field on January 5, 2008 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
MIAMI (AP) --A man on trial in the slaying of Washington Redskins star safety Sean Taylor admitted to breaking into the NFL player's home, kicking down the bedroom door and shooting Taylor, and drew a detailed diagram of the house, labeling himself as the shooter, a Miami-Dade police detective testified Thursday.Defendant Eric Rivera wasn't handcuffed but came willingly to talk to authorities in Fort Myers in November 2007, the detective said. At first, he told investigators he stayed home all weekend and maybe caught a movie with his girlfriend. As authorities pressed, he said he had a bad memory and that everything was foggy, said lead investigator Juan Segovia.When authorities walked another defendant by the room where Rivera was being questioned, Rivera grew noticeably anxious, Segovia said. He refused to make eye contact and kept rubbing his hands together. One of the detectives gave a moving speech, saying Taylor was an American hero who was doing nothing wrong but was at home sleeping with his baby and girlfriend when he was killed, Segovia said.That's when Rivera's eyes grew teary and he nodded that he had been involved. Rivera and four co-defendants heard Taylor liked to keep a lot of cash around the house, maybe as much as 200,000. They thought Taylor would be with the Redskins at a game at Tampa Bay the night they broke into his house -- but instead he was home with a knee injury, the detective said Rivera told him.Rivera admitted driving the black SUV, parking in front of Taylor's home, hopping a concrete wall and breaking in through a back patio door, Segovia said. As they searched the home for money, they heard a noise, got spooked and ran back to the car. When they re-entered, Rivera said he kicked in Taylor's bedroom door, Segovia testified."He says he saw Sean Taylor running out bedroom, something in his hand. At this point, he lifted up his firearm and shot," Segovia said.Jackie Garcia, Taylor's girlfriend and the mother of his daughter, who was also inside the bedroom, became noticeably upset as the detective recounted details of the slaying and rested her head on her knees in court. She sat near several members of Taylor's family, including his father, Florida City Police Chief Pedro Taylor, in the packed Miami-Dade County courtroom.Taylor was shot in the upper thigh, which severed his femoral artery. The Miami University star had a machete in his hand, and Garcia and their infant daughter were also in the bedroom, though they were not hurt. Taylor died the next day from massive blood loss. The 24-year-old was a Pro Bowl safety for the Redskins who had previously been a popular, locally grown star at the University of Miami."He knew he hit him in the area of the leg. He said the victim fell very rapidly and very hard," Segovia said.After the shooting, the group jumped back into the SUV and as they drove across an interstate known as Alligator Alley, they wiped off the gun, stuffed it into a sock and threw it into the Everglades, the detective said Rivera told him.Prosecutors planned to play the taped confession later Thursday. The validity of a detailed, videotaped confession is the central question for jurors to decide in the first-degree murder trial.Assistant State Attorney Ray Araujo said Rivera voluntarily spoke with detectives without an attorney present about how he shot Taylor while he and four friends attempted to burglarize the football star's Miami-area home.Rivera drew diagrams of the rooms and where everyone was at the time, labeling himself as a stick figure that shot Taylor, the detective said. He also said he was wearing the Nike Shox when he kicked in the door and seemed amused when investigators showed him a footprint lifted from the door, Segovia testified.Rivera's attorney, Janese Caruthers, countered that Rivera was coerced into the confession by a team of investigators who had little evidence and was looking for someone to take the fall in a high-pressure case.But Segovia said Rivera "was very open, very relaxed ... he was eager to talk to us."Because Rivera was 17 at the time of the crime, his maximum possible sentence if convicted is life in prison rather than the death penalty.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cubs trade for Chapman a risk, but potential payoff too hard to ignore

White Sox fan wears a fantastic taped-up Chris Sale jersey

Wisconsin kicker will wear 27 to honor Nebraska's Sam Foltz

Dennis Schroder wears disguise to play in German streetball tournament

Browns indicate they will give Josh Gordon another chance

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Prince Fielder to undergo season-ending neck surgery

Eagles want Carson Wentz to be 'starter ready' Week 1

Report: 49ers concerned Anthony Davis will quit again

Did Manning hurt NFLPA's case in HGH investigations?

Report: Steinbrenner won't allow fire sale, wants to make playoffs

Report: Dion Waiters agrees to one-year deal with Heat

Dion Waiters' deal signals the end of the 2016 money grab

Tom Jackson could leave ESPN after almost three decades

Cavs sign coach Tyronn Lue to a five-year extension

More than 10,000 people registered for Jaguars Pokemon Go night

NFL issues new concussion protocol

Angels listening to offers on Hector Santiago

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

Kevin Durant’s OKC restaurant will be closed, rebranded

Lamar Odom said to be held back by one 'toxic friend'

Mario Balotelli crashes Liverpool fans' wedding

Michael Vick: I used to feel I was 'dominating too much'

WATCH: Astros, Rangers minor leaguers get into brawl

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker