• Welcome to BGO! We know you will have questions as you become familiar with the software. Please take a moment to read our New BGO User Guide which will give you a great start. If you have questions, post them in the Feedback and Tech Support Forum, or feel free to message any available Staff Member.

Sun Sentinel: Taylor murder trial finally begins


Super Bowl MVP
BGO Ownership Group
Joe Gibbs Club Member
Jul 15, 2009
Reaction score
Boynton Beach, FL
Sean Taylor's murder trial begins - Sun Sentinel

[h=3]Jury selection begins in murder case of slain football star[/h]Dave Hyde

7:58 PM EDT, October 15, 2013


It was ordinary. It began oh-so-ordinary Tuesday morning for such an extraordinary tragedy. Fifty potential jurors quietly entered a relatively empty Courtroom 4-4 of the Miami courthouse.

Lawyers sat with the jurors' questionnaires. The accused sat with a new hair-cut and a gray dress shirt whose wrinkles looked right out of the package. The judge talked of "reasonable doubt" and "burden of proof" and then asked the potential jurors, row by row, if they had been victims of any crime.

This is how the trial of slain football star Sean Taylor finally began, six long years later, with Juror No. 3 raising a hand and answering the judge's question about being victimized by saying, "I had a bicycle stolen."

"How long ago?" Eleventh Circuit Court Judge Dennis Murphy said.

"Just recently,'' Juror No. 3 said. "And I had an apartment broken into five years ago."

"Any of that affect your ability to be fair and impartial in this case?" the judge asked.

So what started on a violent night in 2007, and brought 3,000 people to Taylor's funeral, including the entire Washington Redskins and University of Miami football teams, finally moves toward its public end with the dry, unemotional, matter-of-fact language of law.

At one end of a bench in courtroom 4-4 Tuesday sat Pedro Taylor, Sean's father, watching the full proceedings with the same white "R.I.P.," band on his wrist he's worn for years.

At the other end of the bench sat relatives of Eric Rivera Jr., who is one of five men accused of breaking into Taylor's home to rob it and the only one accused of first-degree murder for firing two shots at him.
Rivera was 17 at the time, so he can't be tried as an adult and faces life in prison.

"Did you tell the jurors this isn't a capital punishment case?" one of the prosecuting attorneys asked when the jurors had left for lunch.

"I need to do that,'' the judge said.

How did murder take so long to come to trial? Why were there seven trial delays? There were lawyer changes, and schedule changes, and reportedly evolving testimony from the five men involved in the robbery-turned murder.

This isn't a sports story, and never has been since that violent night, though it's strange how that world leaks into even this trial. Juror No. 40 was brought back to the courtroom individually, as several potential jurors were, for further questioning.

He admitted to having heard in the media last week this case was coming to trial.

"I thought, 'Wow, it's been a long time,'" Juror No. 40 said.

But what really set Juror 40 apart, what the judge then asked him about, was the orange University of Miami sweatshirt he wore. Was he a football fan? Would that matter?

"I've worked there for 17 years,'' Juror No. 40 said.

He was in the technology department, not athletics, and said he never met Taylor though did watch his games. And the judge asked what he must about everything, whether any of that would, "affect the ability to be fair and impartial."

"I don't think so,'' Juror 40 said.

In the end, the members of the jury will be picked and decide on the merit of the case they will be presented, a case that was tragic from its opening moments so long ago.

The selection of the jury is expected to take a week. Then comes the trial, where a main witness is expected to be Venjah Hunte, now 25, who already has pled guilty and could testify against the others.
No matter what comes out this trial, no matter what testimony is heard and what verdict is rendered, the biggest fact doesn't change. His daughter, now 7, won't have a father. His father, who quietly sat in courtroom 4-4 Tuesday, still won't have a son
I was sure hoping someone would have beaten the slimy little sonofabitchin maggot to death before now.

But, there's still hope.

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 1, Members: 0, Guests: 1)

Help Users
As we enjoy today's conversations, let's remember our dear friends 'Docsandy', Sandy Zier-Teitler, and 'Posse Lover', Michael Huffman, who would dearly love to be here with us today! We love and miss you guys ❤

You haven't joined any rooms.

    You haven't joined any rooms.