Eric Rivera, the man convicted of murdering former Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor in November 2007, was sentenced to 57.5 years in prison on Thursday, Jan. 23, per David Ovalle of The Miami Herald:
BREAKING: Eric Rivera must serve 57.5 years prison for murder of Redskins, UM star football player Sean Taylor, judge decides @MiamiHerald— David Ovalle (@DavidOvalle305) January 23, 2014
Ovalle reported that the prosecution asked the judge for a minimum sentence of 60 years, due in part to the fact it doesn't believe Rivera will rehabilitate in prison. It argued that the facts of the case pointed to Rivera being a "sophisticated, manipulative criminal":
State asks Judge Murphy to sentence Eric Rivera to at least 60 years in prison. Co-def who plead out to get 29 years #SeanTaylor— David Ovalle (@DavidOvalle305) January 23, 2014
Prosecutor Rubin on Eric Rivera: "He's a sophisticated, manipulative criminal. There is no good reason to believe hes going to change."— David Ovalle (@DavidOvalle305) January 23, 2014
Rivera had earlier confessed to the murder, per NBC 6 South Florida:
Rivera admitted in a videotaped confession to police days after Taylor's death that he fired the fatal shot after kicking in the bedroom door.
In the confession, Rivera said the group of five young men, all from the Fort Myers area, had driven to Taylor's house planning to steal large amounts of cash he kept inside. They thought Taylor would be out of town at a game against Tampa Bay, but didn't realize until it was too late that he was home with a knee injury.
Rivera was just one of five men who were charged in the case. Three will be tried and charged at a later date, while Venjah Hunte pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and burglary in return for a 29-year prison sentence.
The murder of Taylor, 24, gripped the sporting public when it happened. By that point in his blossoming career, the rising star had accumulated 299 total tackles in 55 games with the Redskins, along with two sacks, eight forced fumbles and 12 interceptions.
Following the tragedy, details emerged that Taylor was protecting his home during the burglary. He was shot in the leg, which damaged his femoral artery, killing him. His girlfriend and then-18-month-old daughter were unharmed.
This is officially the end of what was one of the most tragic sporting stories of recent memory, and with Rivera's sentence, Taylor's family received some closure.