The first day of the trial of Eric Rivera was today. He is accused of murdering Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor while burglarizing his home in 2007. It was one of the most tragic sports stories of the past decade and had other athletes talking about the fear they have of being targeted by criminals.
Taylor went to check on a noise that he heard and was shot, and eventually died. His girlfriend, Garcia Haley, described the events of that night in haunting details.
From the Miami Herald:
She and Taylor, who had been dating since their days at Gulliver High, went to bed around 10 p.m., their 18-month-old daughter at their side. Past 1 a.m., Taylor roused her. He heard a noise. Where was the machete? By the bed, Garcia Haley whispered.
“He proceeded out toward the bedroom door,” Garcia Haley told jurors. “I attempted to call 911. I heard a really loud noise, similar to a gunshot. A scream, like an ‘Aaahh.’ I think it was Sean.’”
Garcia Haley did not see who shot Taylor. She hid under the covers and called 911. After a few moments, she emerged and inched toward Taylor, who gasped for air but was unable to speak.
“I saw him laying on the floor face down. I just saw all this blood,” Garcia Haley, 30, told jurors.
Frantically, she tried to soothe him, grabbing a towel to try and stop the bleeding. When Miami-Dade police officers arrived, Garcia Haley sprinted to let them in to the gated home.
“I ran outside and screamed for help. I told them someone was dying, to please hurry,” Garcia Haley said.
This still remains one of the most tragic sports stories. While nothing can bring Sean Taylor back, a conviction could bring his family some peace and some closure on the matter. The way the murder went down is nothing short of cold-blooded.
The rest of the article goes on to describe Haley dropping of her their daughter at her mother’s and changing her clothes to follow him to the hospital.
Rivera is just the first of four defendants to face trial. A fifth man pleaded guilty and could testify as well.