Sean Taylor's accused killer finally set to stand trial

By Larry Hartstein | Senior Analyst

After several delays, the man accused of fatally shooting Redskins safety Sean Taylor in 2007 is finally scheduled to stand trial Aug. 12.

Eric Rivera Jr., 22, and three other men pleaded not guilty in the killing, which police say occurred during a botched robbery at Taylor's Miami-area home. They are being tried separately. On Tuesday, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Dennis Murphy set the new trial date for Rivera, according to the Associated Press.

A fifth defendant, Venjah Hunte, pleaded guilty in a 2008 plea deal that resulted in a 29-year sentence. He wrote a letter to the Washington Times sending his “deepest apology to the family of Sean Taylor."

“I know an apology won't bring him back, but I hope one day they could find it in their hearts to forgive me,” Hunte wrote. “My thought or intentions weren't to hurt him or noone [sic] else, let alone murder, it was something I thought would never happen,” Hunte continued. “Even though I didn't pull the trigger I still have to take responsibility for my actions. Period.”

Taylor, 24, who starred at the University of Miami, was home recovering from a knee injury when the burglary occurred, police said. He was shot in the right leg. The bullet hit his femoral artery, and Taylor died the next day.

Taylor would have turned 30 on Monday. Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III paid tribute on WhoSay:

Griffin tweeted: “1 of the Greatest Redskins I never got the chance to meet in this life but will in the next.”

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