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Detective: Sean Taylor’s Killer Confessed

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Eric Rivera Jr. in court. (Source: CBS4)

Eric Rivera Jr. in court. (Source: CBS4)

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South Florida Crime

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The man accused of firing the deadly shot which claimed the life of Washington Redskins star Safety Sean Taylor reportedly confessed to police.

In court today, Miami-Dade Homicide Detective Juan Segovia told jurors that 23-year old Eric Rivera Jr. admitted to breaking into Taylor’s home through a sliding glass door, kicking down the door to the bedroom, and shooting Taylor as the victim got up to investigate.

The detective said Rivera drew a diagram of the home with stick figures labeling himself as Taylor’s shooter.

The jury watched a video of Rivera’s interrogation Thursday afternoon.

As it played, Rivera took notes and whispered to his attorney. He couldn’t see the video. He could only hear the muffled audio of his statement to police more than five years ago.

In it, he voluntarily told Miami-Dade Det. Juan Segovia that he shot someone but did not know who it was.

“I didn’t know it was him there,” Rivera said on the taped confession. “I shot. I just turned around and ran.”

“How many times did you shoot him,” Segovia asked.

“Once,” Rivera replied.

“How quickly did he go down,” asked Segovia.

“Quick,” said Rivera.

“Did he say anything after he went down,” asked Segovia.

“No,” said Rivera.

“What did you do then?”

“I ran.”

Rivera goes onto tell Segovia that the plan was to burglarize the home.

“What was the plan,” Segovia asked.

“Go get the money and leave,” Rivera said.

Prosecutors said Rivera and four others from the Fort Myers area thought Taylor would be playing a Redskins game and his Palmetto Bay home would be empty.   Taylor, however, was home nursing an injury. Segovia testified that Rivera said that he and his accomplices believed that Taylor would have as much as $120,000 cash in his house.

Investigators were led to Rivera and his co-defendants by tips from friends along with cell phone calls that were traced, according to Segovia.

The detective told the jury that Rivera had tears in his eyes when he was told that Taylor was a good person, a good father and provider.   He said Taylor was in his home asleep with his girlfriend, Jackie Garcia, and the couple’s child in the master bedroom when Rivera and the rest of the group “decided to victimize him, prey on him and kill him.”

Initially, Segovia said that Rivera told detectives he went to the movies on the weekend Taylor was shot in 2007. Later, Segovia testified that Rivera grew nervous when he saw detectives interviewing another suspect and confessed.

One of the others has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and burglary charges. The others will go on trial later.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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