Sean Taylor, former Pro Bowl safety for the Washington Redskins, was murdered in 2007. Taylor suffered a gunshot wound to his femoral artery, causing massive blood loss. Reports indicate that Taylor confronted a group of men who had broken into his home attempting to burglarize it. The confrontation took place just outside Taylor's bedroom and that it was a result of this confrontation that he was fatally shot.
Eric Rivera, Jr. was found guilty of second degree murder related to his involvement in the Taylor shooting. Rivera, in a taped confession to police, indicated that he and four men went to Taylor's house in November 2007 to burglarize the home. It was thought that Taylor would be out of town with the Redskins team playing a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, Taylor was home with his girlfriend and infant daughter due to an injury on the date of the armed burglary and shooting.
Rivera took the stand in his own defense and claimed it was an accomplice who brought the murder weapon to the scene and ultimately shot Taylor, fatally wounding him. During his testimony, Rivera stated that he was unaware of the burglary plot until the group of men were en route to Taylor's home. Rivera testified that he stayed in the car during the incident and never entered Taylor's residence.
The jury returned a verdict of guilty for the lesser offense of second degree murder and armed burglary. Jurors deliberated over four days before returning the guilty verdict on the second degree murder charges. Although not convicted of first degree murder, Rivera still faces life in prison for his participation in the crime.
A person charged with murder has a very challenging legal road ahead of them. Understanding that there are different degrees of murder and different defenses which can mitigate culpability is important. Simply being present at the scene of the crime, as is allegedly the case with Rivera, can still result in a murder conviction. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you develop a sound defense and present your case is crucial in circumstances such as these.
Penalties for murder will depend on the facts of the case. If you, or someone you know, is facing a murder charge in Las Vegas it is imperative that you consult with an experienced defense attorney. The criminal defense attorneys at Brown Law Offices are experienced in handling cases just like this and the firm offers free consultations. Simply call (702) 405-0505 today.